Day five of the Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro saw the Scots on the ParlympicsGB team involved in a busy programme of heats and finals across five sports.
Gordon Reid had dispatched Dan Wallin from Sweden with ruthless efficiency in the second round of the men’s singles competition to line up a third round tie against Frederic Cattaneo from France. Gordon was in supreme form once again winning the match 6-0, 6-2 within 48 minutes.
The demands of the wheelchair tennis competition are considerable and Gordon was back on court later in the day with Alfie Hewitt for a men’s double’s quarter-final encounter against Spain’s Daniel Caverzaschi and Martin de la Puente. The Wimbledon champions and number two seeds had beaten Ho Won Im and Ha Gel Lee from South Korea 6-1, 6,2 in the last round and again eased to a comfortable victory, winning 6-2, 6-0 to book their place in the semi-final.
Commenting after the match Gordon from Alexandria, said:
“We were playing really well as a team and our confidence continues to grow when we’re on court together”.
“Nothing has changed, we’re still here for that gold medal and we’re feeling good about it. The matches are getting serious now but that doesn’t change how I prepare, I just need to keep doing what I’m doing.”
Libby Clegg was back on the track in the Olympic Stadium for the heats and semi-final of the T11 200m. Libby stormed to victory in the 100m on day two of the Games and was determined to add the 200m title to her list of achievements. In her heat, Libby ran a comfortable 25.90 to win and qualify for the semi-final later in the day.
In the semi-final, Libby and guide Chris Clarke ran 25.24 to qualify for tomorrow’s final fourth fastest overall.
“We have been really lucky with the heats and semi-finals today because they have been slower than some of the others which is good for us going into the final”.
“We were feeling really confident today and it’s nice to take it a bit easier in terms of time wise, we weren’t pushing max speed. We want to keep ourselves fresh for the final tomorrow evening so fingers crossed everything goes to plan and we execute our race.”
Andrew Mullen qualified as sixth fastest in the men’s S5 50m freestyle heats in a time of 35.75 secs with Brazil’s Daniel Dias once again the firm favourite for the gold. Andrew then swan a personal best time of 34.87 to finish the final in fifth place.
Abby Kane also qualified for the final of the 400m freestyle S13, taking a second off her personal best to make the final as seventh fastest qualifier in 4:52.23. Abby, the youngest member of the ParalympicsGB team in Rio produced another personal best in the final to finish sixth in a time of 4:49.27. She will now look towards the 100m backstroke later this week.
“There is definitely room for improvement but I’ve got loads of time. This is all about experience and fun for me right now. I’m really buzzing for the backstroke now but I’ve got to wait a few days.”
Stephen Clegg, just failed to make his final after making his Games debut in the 400m freestyle S13. Clegg admitted a shoulder niggle had been plaguing his training and he clocked 4:23.07 to rank ninth in qualifying, missing progressing to the final by just over three seconds.
GB’s BC4 Pairs team featuring Scotland’s Stephen McGuire and Kieran Steer along with Evie Edwards missed out on the bronze medal as Thailand fought back from being 2-0 down, to a 3-2 victory.
GB took control of the match going up 1-0 after the first end and doubled their lead after a comfortable second end. However, the Thai team levelled the match in the third end by taking two and edged out GB by taking a single shot in the final end.
After the match Hamilton’s McGuire said:
“I’m not disappointed, I’m devastated, to be honest. It’s the third time I’ve finished fourth at the Paralympics”.
“We were in control of that match. The first two ends we played really well, really solid”.
“Even the third end, we went ball for ball, we had the balls to win it, we went to try and open it up. They only had one ball left but we didn’t quite execute there. That was the key end”.
“The last end was always going to be pressure, and again I had the shots, I just pulled them a little bit, so it was a game of two halves I suppose.”
Steer, from Fife, said:
“I’m pretty disappointed, we played amazingly through the whole contest, there were just one or two key balls in that game that we got wrong.”
7 a Side Football
Having agonisingly lost both their opening Group A matches 2-1, to Brazil and Ukraine, the GB Football 7 a Side squad couldn’t qualify for the semi-finals but had pride to play for in their final group match against the Republic of Ireland. GB enjoyed a comfortable 5-1 victory with four different players on the scoresheet and an own goal for Ireland, ensuring a third-place finish in Group A. GB will now face Argentina on Wednesday in the play off for fifth place in the tournament.