It was another huge day on day four with 55 gold medals on offer. Records were smashed in the pool and in the athletics. Dylan Alcott began his Paralympic campaign and four Australians booked themselves a spot in a Gold Medal Match in the table tennis.
Four Australians one away from Table Tennis Gold
It was an all Australian start in the Table Tennis this morning with Melissa Tapper and Yang Qian going head to head in the Women’s Singles C10 quarter-final. Tapper held strong in the first game but ultimately lost 3-0 (11-13, 3-11, 8-11) to Yang.
Yang had a brutal matchup in the semi-final later in the day against four-time Women’s Singles C10 Paralympic Gold Medalist Natalia Partyka (POL), Yang won the first game but Partyka was quick to take the lead convincingly winning the next two but the Australian made sure to send the match to a decider winning five consecutive points.
The fifth game showed not only Yang’s skill but strength mentally as a player coming back from 9-4 down to win seven consecutive points following a time out to win the match 3-2 (7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 6-11, 9-11) and book a spot in the Gold Medal Match against Bruna Costa Alexandre on Monday night at 7:45 pm.
Lei Li Na was the second Australian to book herself a spot in the Gold Medal Match in another five-game thriller against Alexa Szvitacs (HUN), Lei fought hard in the first two games but Szvitacs got the edge on her twice in a row with a gold medal opportunity on the line Lei won the next three games to win 2-3 (14-12, 13-11, 5-11, 8-11, 6-11). She’ll now play China’s Xong Guiyan for gold on Monday at 6:45 pm.
Sam von Einem got his revenge from Rio 2016 in his semi final against Florian van Acker (BEL) today winning in yet another five-game match. Van Acker was well and truly on top of the match, winning the first two games but von Einem settled into the match fighting hard to win the third and fourth game in tight battles, but it was the fifth game that he got on top of the former gold medalist 3-2 (4-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-5) He’ll play Hungary’s Peter Palos on Sunday at 6:45 pm.
Ma Lin had the easier time of the Australian’s in the semi-final playing Ukraine’s Ivan Mai, after the first two games it was all even but Ma fought hard to convincingly win the match in four games (12-10, 7-11, 11-6, 11-5), returning to the Gold Medal Match for the first time since London 2012.
Ma’s opponent for the Gold Medal Match Laurens Devos (BEL) was a much tougher opponent, the 21-year-old Rio Gold Medalist had only previously lost two games at a Paralympics, both of which were in his semi-final earlier in the day.
It was like a repeat of the semi-final only the roles were reversed with Ma winning the first game before getting demolished by Devos in the next three games (9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3). Ma still claimed silver in his debut Paralympics for Australia and will likely play in the team event later in the Paralympics.
Rollers keep cruising while Gliders come to a halt
The Rollers got off to a fast start against Germany in their Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Group B pool game, leading by 10 at the first break. Germany hit back in the second quarter, but after half-time, the match was back on Australia’s terms.
Bill Latham top-scored with 17 points and had 11 rebounds, while captain Shaun Norris scored 14 points as his side pushed ahead in the final quarter for a 64-53 victory.
Unfortunately, the Gliders were unable to continue the Australian success at Ariake Arena on day four, falling by 37 points to an impressive Great Britain team.
Australia struggled to sink its shots at goal, and again too much was left to too few as Georgia Munro-Cook (16 points) and Amber Merritt (14 points) were the only two to hit more than one field goal for the match.
The Gliders will need to find more shooting firepower ahead of their match against Canada on Sunday evening.
Powerlifting continues to have no country truly dominate the medals
There was a flurry of medals in the powerlifting on day four, with 12 medals being awarded across 4 classifications. In the Men’s -72kg, Malaysia’s Bunyau Bonnie Gustin claimed gold with a best lift of 228kg. Silver went to Egypt’s Mahmoud Attia with a best lift of 191 and Great Britain’s Micky Yule secured bronze with a best lift of 182kg.
Mexico’s Amalia Perez took home the gold in the Women’s -61kg Final with the best lift of 131kg, hot on her tails was Uzbekistan’s Ruza Kuzieva who took home the silver with a best lift of 130kg while bronze went to Nigeria’s Lucy Ejike also with a best lift of 130kg
China’s Yujiao Tan secured the gold in the Women’s -67kg final with a best lift of 133kg. Silver went to Egypt’s Fatma Omar who had a best lift of 120kg. Right behind her was Nigeria’s Olaitan Ibrahim with a best lift of 119kg who took home bronze.
In the last powerlifting final for the day Iran’s Roohalla Rostami took home gold in the Men’s -80kg final with a best lift of 234kg. China’s Xiaofei Gu took home silver with a best lift of 215kg and not far behind was Egypt’s Mohamed Elefat with a best lift of 212kg which secured him bronze.
Pool A crashes down to earth in Wheelchair Rugby Semis
In Wheelchair Rugby a four-point loss is considered to be pretty substantial, however in both semi-finals today the class of Great Britain and the United States of America shone through as they demolished Japan and Australia respectively with six and seven-point wins.
The scoreline of 49-55 didn’t quite reflect how much Great Britain overwhelmed the host nation in the semi-final. It all came to a head late in the third quarter with Great Britain managing to stretch out to a 10 try to lead with seconds to go, despite being three up at the halftime break.
Jim Roberts and Aaron Phipps scored 20 and 17 tries respectively capitalising during periods in the third quarter where Japan had one fewer player on the court due to a time out, but it was the defensive work of Great Britain that was also crucial keeping Japan under 50 points for the first time in Tokyo 2020.
Still reeling after the four-point loss to Japan in the Group Stage the Australian Steelers were going to need to show signs of the side that has dominated the wheelchair rugby at the past two Paralympics, however, the United States emerged from Pool B undefeated and with gold in its sights and were eager to take down the Australians (49-42).
It was Charles Aoki that was causing Australia plenty of pain scoring 27 tries for the match. Ryley Batt also put 25 tries on the board for Australia, but his usual partner Chris Bond had a slower day only scoring seven.
The Steelers still have a chance at winning bronze when they play Japan once more at 3 pm on Sunday while Great Britain and the United States will face off for the gold medal at 7 pm on Sunday evening.
Aussies continue to threaten for a place on the podium in the sprints
At his second Paralympic Games, 22-year-old Jaryd Clifford won Silver in the Men’s 5000m T13 Final. He finished with an Oceania Record of 14:35.52, 1.39 seconds behind the gold medallist Yassine Ouhdadi El Ataby.
During the morning session, Rhiannon Clarke ran a seasons’ best of 13.10 in the Women’s T38 100m sprint to qualify for the evening final. Ella Pardy also ran a seasons’ best, 13.15 and made the final as one of the next fastest racers.
In the final, both athletes improved their season bests from the heat; Clarke ran a 13.08 to finish fifth and Pardy a 13.14 to finish seventh.
In the Men’s 100m T38, 33-year-old Evan O’Hanlon, at his fourth Paralympic Games, added Bronze to his collection. The decorated racer won Gold in Beijing and London and Silver in Rio for the 100m sprint and completed the set in Tokyo.
O’Hanlon ran a season’s best in the second heat, running an 11.31, to qualify for the final. He went on to improve his season’s best to 11.00 seconds and win a bronze medal.
Ari Gesini raced in the first heat finished in a time of 12.40 seconds, however, qualifying for the final required a time under 12 seconds.
Its a beautiful day for Boccia
Boccia got underway for the first time at this year’s Paralympic Games with six pools of individual athletes competing across two sessions with each athlete participating in one pool match each n Day 4 ahead of a further two days of competition before quarterfinals.
Australia was represented on Day 4 by Daniel Michel in BC3 Pool D and Spencer Cotie in BC3 Pool E who each celebrated first-up wins to get their campaigns off to the best start.
Facing Thailand’s Somboon Chaipanich, Michel thrashed his opponent 9-0 throughout four ends, claiming three points during the second end and two points amongst the remaining three ends.
Cotie’s first-round opponent was Argentina’s Stefania Ferrando and the Australian got out to a blistering start, leading 3-0 after two ends before Ferrando scored a point in the third end. Cotie stamped an eventual 4-1 resulting win with an extra point added to the margin in the fourth end.
Michel and Cotie are each taking to the floor again during the day session of Day 5 at Tokyo 2020 where the former takes on Sweden’s Maria Bjurstrom, while Cotie will contest with Great Britain’s Jamie McCowan who is also 1-0.
The Belles are ringing
Australia’s chance to progress through to the quarterfinal stage of the Women’s Goalball has benefited from a closely fought 4-3 win over Canada on Day 4 of the Paralympics.
Heading into this contest against Canada, boasting a 0-2 record and being on the end of 11-1 and 6-0 losses, the Belles needed to win to keep their slim finals hopes alive. Taking a 1-0 lead into halftime courtesy of a Meica Jayne Horsburgh goal, scored with 30 seconds remaining in the half, gave the Belles some breathing room and a chance to talk tactics on how to contain their lead.
Three minutes into the second half, Canada tied the scores although a minute and a half later is when Australia wrestled back the lead through Horsburgh a penalty shot goal. Hosburgh scored her third and fourth goals of the game to give the Belles a larger buffer with just over a minute and a half to play.
Canada didn’t feel like giving up throughout the last minute of the game, scoring two goals within that time however the deficit wasn’t able to fully be recovered as Australia ran out victorious.
Australia, currently sitting fifth in Group C face the second-placed RPC in its final game of the group stages, needing a win to make up one spot as it aims to progress to the quarterfinals.
Alcott and Davidson just as good apart as they are together
The second day of wheelchair tennis kicked off on Day 4 of the Paralympics and like the day before, Australia had representation in both the singles and doubles events that involved a mixed bag of results.
The first Australian to take the court was Dylan Alcott in the first round of the Quad Singles, needing 49 minutes to beat Japan’s Moroishi Mitsuteru in two sets, 6-0, 6-2.
Alcott utilised the backhand well in the first set and converted many break points as he capitalised on his opponent’s errors. The second set was great for Alcott, serving well to win points on the serve as he again pounced on Moroishi’s errors.
He’ll play the winner of USA’s Bryan Barten and Korea’s Kim Kyu-Seung in the quarterfinal.
Martyn Dunn and Ben Weekes competed in the first round of the Men’s Doubles however lost to Brazil’s Gustavo Carneiro Silva and Daniel Rodrigues in two sets, 6-2, 6-3.
In a match that lasted an hour and a half, the Australian pair were forced into more errors than their Brazilian counterparts as their opponents also took advantage of the break points, converting 5/7 chances.
The final Australian to compete on Day 4 was Heath Davidson in the first round of the Quad Singles, on giving up one game as he stormed home to win in straight sets over Antony Cotterill of Great Britain (6-1, 6-0).
Across the first set, Davidson was prolific in converting points from first serves, but also return serves as he worked the backhand and forehand to great use.
In the second set, Cotterill looked uneased with plenty of double faults as Davidson also converted most break points, forced errors and tallied three times the amount of total points.
He’ll next face Sam Schroder of the Netherlands in the quarterfinal.
Records continue to tumble in the pool
If there is a place where World and Paralympic records were in danger on day four it was in the pool with it seeming like records were falling in close to every medal race.
The Men’s 100m Breaststroke SB6 kicked the medals off in the evening with Ukraine’s Yevhenii Bohodaiko winning gold with a time of 1:20.13 just ahead of silver medalist Nelson Crispin Corzo by 0.06 seconds, it was Australian Matt Levy who took out bronze in a time of 1:21.10.
Great Britain’s Maisie Summers-Newton broke her own Paralympic record on her way to gold in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke SB6 with a time of 1:32.34, Liu Daomin of China took out silver finishing in 1:33.30 and the United State’s Sophia Herzog won bronze finishing in 1:36.06
It was the battle of Rowan Crothers (AUS) and Maksym Krypak (UKR) once again in the Men’s 100m Freestyle S10 and it took a World Record falling to split the two. Krypak emerged the victor finishing with a time of 50.64 with Crothers close behind in 51.37, Stefano Raimondi won bronze finishing with a time of 51.45 and Aussie Tom Gallagher finished in fifth with a time of 53.14.
The Women’s 100m Freestyle S10 saw another record fall with Canada’s Aurelie Rivard swimming sub 59 seconds in the final for the second time that day (58.14) to break her own record two seconds ahead of silver medalist Chantalle Zijderveld (1:00.23) the Netherlands won silver and bronze with Lisa Kruger winning bronze. Australia’s Jasmine Greenwood broke an Australian Record swimming 1:01.18.
It was a battle between the Mexican trio of Arnulfo Castorena, Diego Lopez Diaz and Jesus Hernandez Hernandez and Australian duo Grant Patterson and Ahmed Kelly in the Men’s 150m Individual Medley SM3.
Hernandez Henandez made an insurmountable lead in the backstroke leg that earned him gold with a time of 2:56.99 but the silver went to Kelly who steamed up the order in the breaststroke lead moving from fifth to second place and continued to eat into the lead in the Freestyle leg, Patterson finished 10 seconds ahead of the fourth-placed Lopez Diaz to win bronze.
China achieved the second medal sweep of the Paralympics in the Women’s 100 Backstroke S11, with Cai Liwen winning Gold three seconds ahead of her teammate Wang Xinyi’s World Record with a time of 1:13.46. Wang still finished with silver with an equally incredible time of 1:13.72 and Li Guizhi won bronze finishing with a time of 1:16.98.
The Mixed 4x100m Freestyle Relay S14 was another fantastic example of mixed gendered relays with Great Britan obliterating its previous World Record with a time of 3:40.63, the Australian team of Ricky Betar, Benjamin Hance, Ruby Storm and Madeline McTernan won silver with a time of 3:46.38 meanwhile Brazil landed on the podium despite finishing in fourth with a time of 3:51.23 after RPC was disqualified following the race.
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