Paralympics in Tokyo: Boccia participant David Smith defends particular person title with an thrilling victory
|Venue: Tokyo, Japan Events: August 24-September 5 Time in Tokyo: BST +8|
|Cover: Follow on Radio 5 Live and on the BBC Sports website|
Briton David Smith compared himself to Manchester United footballer Cristiano Ronaldo after winning his BC1 Paralympic Bocce Singles title with an exciting win in Tokyo.
The 32-year-old was 2-0 behind Chew Wei Lun from Malaysia after the first of four finals, but stormed back and won 4-2 for GB’s 30th gold at the Tokyo Games.
Smith had previously compared himself to six-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan but said his approach in the final was more in line with the Portuguese striker.
“I like to be creative, I like to put on a show,” said Smith, “I like to play well, but I prefer to win, so I guess I could be put in that camp.
“I’m probably different from Ronnie and more like Ronaldo in that if I have to dig it up, I’ll do it – and I work hard to get what I have to do.”
The win brings Smith his fifth Paralympic medal, overtaking Nigel Murray as the most successful athlete in the country in the sport.
swimmer Becky Rotfern won silver in the SB13 100m breaststroke, just over a year after the birth of son Patrick.
The 21-year-old led at halftime, but was overtaken by the German Elena Krawzow, who won by 0.64 seconds, while Redfern drove a minute of 14.10 seconds.
Will Bayley and Paul Karabardak reached the finals of table tennis class 6-7 on Friday with a thrilling 2-1 win against Spain.
Wheelchair racer Sammi Kinghorn won her first Paralympic medal with bronze in the 100 m T53 in 16.53 seconds behind Chinese Gao Fang (16.29) and Zhou Hongzhuan (16.48).
There was also bronze for archers Victoria Rumary for women W1 and table tennis bronze for class 4-5 teams from Sue Bailey and Megan Shackleton and grade 8 team of Ross Wilson, Aaron McKibbin and Billy Shilton.
the GB men’s wheelchair basketball Team put in a strong performance in the second half to beat Canada by 66:52 as they continued their quest to add Paralympic gold to their European and World titles.
Defending champion in wheelchair tennis Gordon Reid and the runner-up in Rio and fellow countryman Alfie Hewett both reached the men’s singles semi-finals.
This means Britain guarantees a medal at the event because if Reid and Hewett lose their semifinals they would face each other in the play-off for the bronze medal.
Daniel Bethell He got off to a successful start when he became the first badminton player to represent the British at the Paralympics and defeated the Japanese Daisuke Fujihara with 21-11 21-7 in the SL3 individual class.
Super Smith retains his title
It’s now three gold medals for Smith, who has earned a reputation for colorful hairstyles at the Paralympic Games.
This time it was colored blue and red, after a blue mohawk in Rio five years ago and a red mohawk on his game debut in Beijing in 2008.
After a disappointing opening ending, he put up pressure on his younger opponent, who had won all of his five matches, to make it to the playoff.
“I didn’t play great, but I made it over the limit,” said Smith.
“There are a lot of things going on in my head right now, being the first BC1 to defend a Paralympic title and becoming the most successful British player of all time.
“You try not to think about it, but it matters, I take care of things like that.
“It’s such a great sport and I just feel like we’re getting the recognition we deserve here. That makes me a little emotional.”
Teammate Scott McCowan lost 6: 1 against the Australian Daniel Michel in the bronze play-off in the BC3 category.
GB men show character and spirit
The men’s wheelchair basketball team was down 42-32 in the third quarter with four minutes to go, reaching their seventh consecutive Paralympic semi-final, facing hosts Japan in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Patrick Anderson kept Canada in the game by 22 points but Gaz Choudhry, who coaches the UK team with Haj Bhania, who was forced to stay in the UK after a positive coronavirus test, led his side with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists at.
Lee Manning (17 points and 19 rebounds) and Gregg Warburton (16 points) also made important contributions.
“We still have a lot of work to do and we see two more games,” said Warburton. “We achieved our first goal of reaching a semi-final.
“We show a lot of character and a lot of spirit. We believe no matter what situation we’re in, we can beat anyone. We just have to believe in it.”
German long jumper Markus Rehm couldn’t disturb his own world record but was an easy winner of the T64 long jump for his third straight title nonetheless.
The 33-year-old, who set a world record of 8.62 m at the European Championships in June, made it in Tokyo with 8.18 m, well ahead of French runner-up Dimitri Pavade (7.39 m).
Dutch Jetze Plat won his third gold medal of the Games by winning the H4 road race.
Plat had won triathlon gold on Sunday before taking gold in hand-cycling in the road race on Tuesday, finishing five minutes and 43 seconds ahead of his fiercest rival to complete the triple.
His teammate Jennette Jansen bridged a 33-year gap with gold in the women’s H1-4 road race.
Jansen, 53, won three athlete titles in Seoul in 1988 and also represented her country in wheelchair basketball before switching to cycling.
And there was another medal for Paralympics veterans Heinz Frei. The 63-year-old Swiss made his debut at the 1984 Olympic Games as a wheelchair user, then switched to cycling and won his 27th game medal with silver in the H3 time trial.