A sensational swim by multiple medal winner Hannah Fitton gave Team GB their third silver of the Games this evening.
Hannah’s time of 09:24.91 for the 800m Freestyle was 36 seconds better than her last recorded swim at that time in Deaf competition and means she now has a silver medal plus three bronze medals – half of Team GB’s total.
Hannah’s medal haul now reads:
- 200m Freestyle (bronze)
- 400m Freestyle (bronze)
- 800m Freestyle (silver)
- 200m Individual Medley (bronze)
“What a wonderful bonus to have on the last day of competition”, beamed Swimming Team Manager Vincent Dickson.
Hannah – born in Scunthorpe – flies to her current home of Wisconsin, USA early tomorrow morning (14th) but will have the good wishes of GB Teammates ringing in her ears after her exhilarating performances at these Games.
Details of an interview with Team GB’s star performer will appear shortly.
Rajeev Bagga is one step away from landing his sixth consecutive individual Badminton gold when he booked his place in the final in front of a big British crowd at the Taipei Gymnasium this afternoon.
Bagga’s opponent, Cheang Hok Teh of Malaysia was a familiar face – he has lost previous Deaflympics finals to the former India player.
Team GB Badminton coaches Denis Cleary and Kevin Harper were impressed afterwards:
“Teh is a very good player”, they agreed. Harper went on: “But Rajeev has played at a high standard all the way through this tournament and deserves to be in the final”.
After 90 minutes break, during which Rajeev was given a revitalising massage by GB Badminton sports physio Caroline Bird, it was on with the Doubles.
Things looked to be going GB’s way when Bagga and Carl Sadler took the first set 21-13.
Their Russian opponents changed their tactics for the next set and some aggressive play saw Karpov and Efremov level the tie with a 21-10 win.
The decisive final set saw some extremely high quality badminton, which could have only impressed the visiting British Olympic Committee delegate who was observing proceedings.
The two pairs traded points, and when it looked like the Russians would get too far ahead at 10-7, Bagga played some sublime shots right onto the edges of the court to haul GB level, then in front, 11-10.
The tension cranked up with every point and by 19-19, it was almost unbearable.
Karpov and Efremov wasted one chance at 20-19 but made no mistake with the next and go on to play Malaysia (with Teh) in the final.
Bagga and Sadler aim to oust Korea for a bronze medal in the third/fourth play-off tomorrow.
But the main event of the day will be what promises to be a historic achievement by Bagga, when he plays Karpov for the gold medal at 2pm local time.
Team GB’s Candy Hawkins just missed out on the medals when she ran the 5000m on an eventful night in Taipei Stadium.
The Gold medal was never in doubt from early on as Australian runner Melinda Vernon lapped the field, breaking the world Deaf record by nearly 40 seconds in the process.
Candy, running a solid race, appeared to have finished fifth.
However, it was soon revealed that a mistake by the Polish entrant Zareba, who finished a lap too early, meant that she was disqualified from third place.
The revised result placed Candy fourth, with a personal best time of 19:15.70.
While the race was being run, the crowd roared its approval when a Venezuelan athlete registered a world Deaf record throw of 73.47m in the Men’s Javelin.
Team GB Women missed out on the bronze medal when they lost by a single goal to Russia.
The Russians, who had beaten GB 6-2 earlier in the competition, were kept quiet by some solid defending and close marking.
The goal came in slightly controversial circumstances when a water break was given with Russia about to take a corner kick.
When play resumed, a distracted GB defence could not clear their lines and the goal was conceded in a
penalty box scramble.
There was a glimmer of hope for Team GB this morning when lead player Andrew Calloway won his morning game to maintain a 100% record in the Group stages of the Singles.
Andrew, as did Nicholas Gilmour and James Meyers, had to face superior opposition in the afternoon/evening matches and there will be no GB representative in the knockout stages.
Team GB men play their last match of the Football competition tomorrow, with the prize for victory against Spain being 9th place.
It’s a very early start (at 6am local time) for Team GB’s two Marathon runners, Serena Blackburn and Timothy Stones.
But the word on everyone’s lips (or hands) here in Taipei tonight is.. Bagga.