Paralympics Day 8 – Silver Medals in Athletics and Tennis

Day eight of the Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro a further two silver medals for Scots within the ParalympicsGB team.

Athletics

Having opened her Paralympic career with a bronze medal in the women’s T35 100m, Dunbar’s Maria Lyle, was back in action in the in the Olympic Stadium.

Maria was a member of the women’s F35-38 4x100m relay squad that secured the silver medal in a new British record. The quartet had already won five gold and two bronzes between them in Rio but, despite clocking 51.07, were unable to get the better of China who set a new world record 50.81 for gold.

Maria said:

“I’m buzzing – I don’t know about the other girls but when I watched the British relay (4x100m) medal at the Olympics, that just made me want to race here so much”.

“We have done our best; we couldn’t have done anymore today. We’ll certainly be going for that gold in London (World Championships) next year on home ground.”

Wheelchair Tennis

Scotland’s Gordon Reid and his partner Alfie Hewitt had reached the final of the men’s doubles competition courtesy of a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Japan’s Shingo Kunieda and Satoshi Saida. They now faced France’s Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer to decide the Paralympic title and in a scintillating encounter lost out in three sets.

In a close match they lost 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 and the pair admitted their wheelchair tennis men’s doubles silver medal felt bittersweet after a battling defeat.

Gordon commented:

“I think we had the belief we had the gold medal, we knew it was in the tank and winning that second set we really thought we were back in the match”.

“We gave them a bit more of a match but we’ll look back on this and be proud of what we’ve done.”

But the pair were quick to turn their attentions to Friday’s all-British singles final clash.

Reid, the Australian Open and Wimbledon singles champion, said:

“It’s incredible and to have an all British final is the stuff of dreams. We’re not sharing a room or even in the same apartment and I don’t think we’ll be having breakfast together but there is a lot of respect between us.”

Boccia

Hamilton’s Stephen McGuire and Patrick Wilson from the Scottish Borders were the two Scots to progress to the quarter finals in the individual Boccia competition at the Carioca Arena.

However, Stephen and Patrick both lost their quarter-finals in the BC4 and BC3 class.

McGuire lost 4-2 with world number one, Hong Kong’s Yuk Wing Leung while Wilson was beaten 4-3 by Korea’s Kim Han Soo.

After his match Stephen said:

“That was a very tough draw, it was number one versus number two. I had my chances but didn’t quite take them”.

“I went out at the quarter-finals and I’m disappointed but I’ve loved every minute of this, it’s been fantastic.”

Patrick added:

“I’m definitely proud. That should hopefully put me in fifth or sixth which isn’t bad for a first Paralympics. I think once I’ve got over it, I’ll be quite happy with that.”

Wheelchair Basketball

Ayr’s Robyn Love was a member of the GB women’s wheelchair basketball team who had guaranteed their best ever result at a Paralympic Games after reaching the semi-finals in Rio after a 57-38 victory over China in the quarter-final. This meant a semi-final encounter with the USA after their emphatic 66-35 quarter-final victory over Brasil.

History had already been made by the GB women’s team by making the last four in Rio but they were looking to keep their run going by progressing to the gold medal match. GB put up a terrific fight but will have to play for bronze in Rio after losing 89-78 to the USA in a tense encounter.

Ayr’s Paralympic debutant Robyn Love, who contributed 11 points, during the match said:

“The USA have been in this position before, we’re quite a young team, it’s the first time we’ve ever been in this position. We made history by reaching the semi-final. Maybe it’s a bit of inexperience as they seemed to find an extra gear after half-time”.

“I felt like we fought back and scored a few threes to pull it back. They were scared and brought on one sub and then had to take that sub off again”.

“We’ll watch the other semi-final match and just get ready for it. It’s been an amazing experience so far”.

“I’m so proud of the team, we’ve only lost two games, I could not be more proud of this team. We’ve fought hard and we’ll continue to do that in this tournament.”

GB will now compete in the bronze-medal match against the Netherlands tomorrow.

Wheelchair Rugby

Glasgow’s Michael Kerr was a member of the GB team who suffered the narrowest of defeats in the wheelchair rugby in Rio as Canada scored in the dying seconds of overtime to take a 50-49 victory.

In an end-to-end battle, it was top seeds Canada who opened the scoring but Jim Roberts and Ayaz Bhuta were instrumental in keeping GB neck and neck with the Canadians. But with the scores level at 49 each, Trevor Hirschfield’s score with less than a second left on the clock in overtime settled the match.

It means GB have lost their opening two matches against Australia and Canada with a final group game against Brazil tomorrow, while they have to rely on results elsewhere going their way to progress to the semi-finals.

Cycling

Following her fantastic gold medal in yesterday’s Women’s H1-2-3 Time Trial event, Karen Darke was back in action on the road at Pontal. However, it wasn’t to be on this occasion for Karen who didn’t finish the Women’s H1-2-3-4 Road Race due to mechanical issues.

The addition of the silver medals in wheelchair tennis and athletics brings  the Scottish Medal Tally within the ParalympicsGB team four gold, six silver and two bronze.