It was Gold at last for Anthony Sinclair and Catherine Graham as their tremendous display saw them triumph in the Mixed Doubles final.
Sinclair and Graham broke the stranglehold on the title held by Italy’s Gianpaolo Damiani and Barbara Oddone, who suffered their first loss since Christchurch 1989.
Sinclair, 25, and 26-year-old Graham edged the first set against the Italians, but dropped serve in the final game of the second set to take the match to a decider.
However, after finishing fourth in the mixed doubles at the last two Deaflympics, Sinclair and Graham were not about to end with any hard luck stories this this time and secured a double break to give them a 5-1 cushion in the final set.
Although the Italians recovered one break, the British second seeds steadied themselves and held their nerve to clinch Britain’s first Deaflympics mixed doubles gold medal for more than 50 years.
Men’s Doubles pairing Lewis Fletcher and Darren O’Donnell could have joined their fellow players on the medals board but were beaten by two sets to love in the 3rd/4th play off.
Lauren Peffers added a second silver medal to her collection when she grabbed second place in the Women’s 800m in Taipei Stadium on Saturday night.
Lauren’s collection now contains one gold and three silvers at the two Deaflympics she has taken part in – Melbourne 2005 and Taipei 2009.
All those hard nights of training at Edinburgh Athletics Club paid off for Lauren as she toughed out some early jostling in the pack to be in contention at the half-way mark.
However, Lauren appeared to be struggling and on the final bend, it looked like she could miss out on a medal altogether.
But the Scot dug in and summoned up one last burst of pace and somehow, somehow snatched silver on the line.
Lauren crumpled on the track after the finish, looking totally spent. And there was a reason:
“I was in so much pain”, Lauren confessed afterwards and Team GB athletics Team Manager Brian Kokoruwe quickly discovered that his runner had been feeling an injury before the race.
Whatever the cause, it was nothing short of a magnificent recovery which sparked happy scenes amongst the British supporters in the stadium.
Earlier in the evening, Lauren’s fellow Scot John Ruddy was running in his first-ever Deaflympics final – the 200m.
Ruddy, the youngest in the final line-up, looked sharp and was delighted to shave a hundredth of a second off his personal best when finishing fifth.
On this form, 18-year old Glaswegian Ruddy will definitely be challenging at Athens 2013 and Kokoruwe is convinced that the sprinter “has a bright future”.
On a busy night in the stadium, James Schofield also achieved a PB as GB’s representative in the High Jump.
Despite suffering a broken nose in training last week, Schofield looked smooth and composed in his early leaps.
The eventual medal winners jumped to a very high standard, going for the Deaf World Record and there was no shame at all in James’s jump of 1.93 metres.
Rajeev Bagga had a busy day on court but remains on track for gold in the Men’s Singles and Doubles.
Bagga sailed through his Singles last 16 and quarter final matches despite German Oliver Witte taking a 11-4 lead in the latter match.
While Bagga and Carl Sadler were taking three sets to beat their Chinese opponents in their morning Mens Doubles match, Dominic Caswell and Alexander Hurley were on their way out, having lost 2-0 to an Austrian pair.
Late in the afternoon, the Bagga/Sadler combination had to fight all the way in a tough match against Za and Lu (China) before securing a semi-final berth.
Earlier, there was no joy for GB at Mixed Doubles when all of our three pairings were knocked out of the competition.
Team Manager and lead player Andrew Calloway gave GB a boost when he won his first group match of the Men’s Singles this evening.
A clean sweep 3-0 against Rene Ganahl of Austria made up for the losses suffered by James Meyers and Nicholas Gilmour and the withdrawal from competition of Martin Strutt.
Next up for Calloway are matches against South African and Chinese opposition tomorrow at 10.30am and 2.30pm Taipei time.
Team GB made sure of at least 10th place in the competition after comphrensively beating Denmark 5-1 in their last match of the Games.
Their next match will be against Spain – the winner will claim 9th place.
It’s Badminton Semi-Finals Day and Rajeev Bagga has both a singles and a doubles
(with Carl Sadler) match to contend with.
(with Carl Sadler) match to contend with.
Bagga lines up against Teh (Malaysia) at 2pm before the Doubles semi-final at 4pm.
It’s the last day of the Swimming competition and the penultimate day n Athletics, where Candy Hawkins will contest the 5000m.
The BSL report from SignPost will be back on Monday 14 September.