Day nine of the Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro resulted in the addition of a gold and a silver for two of the Scots within the ParalympicsGB team.
Having missed out on the gold medal in the Men’s Doubles competition last night, Gordon Reid was determined not to let another gold slip through his fingers when he faced fellow Brit and doubles partner in the final of the Men’s Singles.
Gordon followed fellow Scot Andy Murray as he secured a famous double, adding Paralympic gold to his Wimbledon wheelchair tennis title in Rio. Gordon overpowered his teammate, winning 6-2, 6-1 in just 54 minutes.
The world number three said:
“There’s actually a picture of Andy Murray as you go out onto Centre Court and when I watched him win gold here last month, I knew I wanted to do the same”.
“I’m honoured to be talked about in the same breathe as him. The Olympians inspired us by getting the job done here in Rio. I felt confident and to have this gold around my neck ranks right alongside winning Wimbledon”
“As a team we’ve smashed our medal target and I can’t wait to share this moment with my friends and family out here, who’ve all lost their voices, as well as those back home.”.
“It really hasn’t sunk in yet what an amazing week I’ve had but to take home a gold and silver really tops off an incredible year for me”.
“I didn’t see this success coming and it was only before the US Open last year that I started working with a sports psych to help me enjoy my matches more and stop putting so much pressure on myself.”
The first Scot to race in the pool today was Edinburgh’s Stephen Clegg who was competing in the heats of the Men’s S13 100m. It was a tightly contested heat and despite a good swim of 55.85, Stephen finished in 4th place meaning he failed to qualify for the final.
Next into the pool was Glasgow’s Andrew Mullen in the heats of the Men’s S5 50m Backstroke. The eight-time European champion won his heat, qualifying second fastest for the final with a time of 37.77. Andrew sealed a stunning silver, stopping the clock in 37.94 as Brazil’s Daniel Dias won a popular gold.
After his race Andrew said:
“I go into every race wanting to win, that’s my personality, I like to think I can challenge anyone. But that was a fantastic swim from Daniel. I came away with a silver, so it’s bitter sweet.
“I’ve had a great week here, I’ve swam four races and swam three personal bests so I can’t really complain with that. It’s my second Paralympic record.”
Ayr’s Robyn Love lined up in the GB team to face the Netherlands for the bronze medal match in the Women’s Wheelchair Basketball competition. GB had lost a competitive semi-final encounter against the USA by 89-78.
Unfortunately, the Netherlands won their second successive Paralympic bronze as they bounced back from a humbling semi-final defeat to Germany to beat GB 76-34. This was still a best-ever finish for a GB women’s wheelchair basketball team and, with a young team, boasting an average age of just 22, hopes are high for the future.
Having been defeated in their opening group matches to Australia and Canada, Glasgow’s Michael Kerr was hoping for a fist win against Brazil to have any hope of progressing to the semi-finals. This was a match that GB won with ease, winning 52-32 to line up a play-off for fifth against Sweden, the same position they achieved at the London Games in 2012.
Earlier in the week, Glasgow’s Hannah Dines had finished 5th in the T1-2 competition and she was back in action today for the final of the Women’s T1-2 Road Race. In an experienced field, Hannah did remarkably well and clocked a time of 1:09:03 to finish in 5th place once again. These Games were an excellent learning experience for Hannah who will undoubtedly be back for the Tokyo Games in 2020 faster and stronger.
The addition of the gold medal for Gordon Reid and silver medal for Andrew Mullen brings the Scottish Medal Tally within the ParalympicsGB team to five gold, seven silver and two bronze.