GB face double Friday fight for bronze

Author:
Russell Moore

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Wilson's brilliant double wasn't enough to see GB through

Heartbreak for Great Britain as both the men’s and women’s teams were unable to make their respective Paralympic finals, instead having to settle for a nervy bronze medal play-off on Friday.

Great Britain’s men in Class 6-8 were within inches of victory against Poland but will rue missed opportunities as they will now face Germany, with Jochen Wollmert playing again, for the chance of a bronze.

In the first match of their semi-final Will Bayley was beaten 3-1 by Piotr Grudzien, which left 17-year-old Ross Wilson with the unenviable position of needing to win at least one of his next two games.

As it was the youngster excelled winning both in tight five-game battles. The first, a 3-2 win against Marcin Skrzynecki involved a tight 11-8 fifth-game decider, while the second against Grudzien had a more comfortable 11-4 ending.

This gave Bayley the chance to put GB in the final with a win over Skrzynecki, however, he quickly found himself 2-0 behind.

Not to be left out, Bayley then worked his way back level with an excellent 11-6 game before a nerveless 12-10 hold for 2-2 and a chance at sending GB through. In the end, the drama and permutations were unbelievable.

At first there was disappointment in ExCeL when Bayley fell 9-5 and then 10-7 behind to the Pole, but that was quickly replaced with jubilation as Bayley saved three match points before creating one of his own for 11-10.

That’s where it went wrong. He was unable to take it whereas Skrzynecki managed to take his fourth at 13-11.

It proved costly in the end as Wilson and Aaron McKibbin fell to a 3-1 defeat in the doubles, which send Poland through to the final and left Britain to face Germany.

Bayley will have to quickly put that missed opportunity out of his mind, as well as his singles defeat to Wollmert, to come back on Friday and beat him to secure his second medal of the Games.

The boys earlier made the semi-finals with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Italy with two wins for Wilson propelling them home well in advance of any of their rivals.

While GB were relaxing having completed the job they had to wait for around an hour and a half for their next opponents to be decided as Poland and Belgium went the full distance.

For GB the equation was much more simple as both Wilson and Bayley beat Alecci Raimondo 3-1 after Wilson had kicked-off the quarter-final with a steady 3-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-2) victory over Davide Scazzieri.

The GB girls meanwhile made their semi-final after a dramatic 3-2 victory over Turkey, with Jane Campbell saving a match-point before GB could progress to the last four.

Both Campbell and team-mate Sara Head lost to their youthful opponents to trail 2-0 early on. Campbell was defeated 3-1 by 22-year-old Nergiz Altintas while Head lost 3-1 to Hatice Duman. The outlook was bleak.

However, Head’s comfortable 3-0 victory over Altintas recovered some belief in GB’s camp before Campbell took the stage in the most dramatic match.

After taking the first game 11-8, she fell 2-1 behind to Duman after the Turk won 11-8 and 11-9 second and third games. Campbell managed to take the match to a decider with an 11-8 fourth game before the drama unfolded in the fifth.

Trailing 9-7, the English girl hauled herself level at 9-9 before she slipped 10-9 behind: thus conceding a match point for both that fixture and the match as a whole.

However, she saved the match point before winning two more in succession to win the game 12-10 and level the match score for Great Britain at 2-2. After that the doubles affair was a simple task with the momentum strongly in GB’s court, eventually resulting in a 3-0 win.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t replicate that comeback when they went 2-0 down to Korea in the semi-final. With opening defeats for both Campbell and Head it required the latter to beat Sang Sook Jung to retain a chance of reaching the final.

However, she fell 2-1 behind and despite a great effort in the fourth game, she was eventually beaten 16-14 as Korea won 3-0.

The GB girls will now have to face Italy for the bronze medal play-off as their last chance for taking silverware from London 2012 presents itself at 5pm tomorrow.

Paralympic Results

Men’s Class 6-8 Quarter-final
Great Britain 3-0 Italy
Ross Wilson bt Davide Scazzieri 3-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-2)
Will Bayley bt Alecci Raimondo 3-1 (11-7, 13-11, 4-11, 11-6)
Ross Wilson bt Alecci Raimondo 3-1 (4-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7)

Men’s Class 6-8 Semi-final
Poland 3-2 Great Britain
Piotr Grudzien bt Will Bayley 3-1 (11-6, 10-12, 11-1, 11-6)
Ross Wilson bt Marcin Skrzynecki 3-2 (11-8, 4-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-8)
Ross Wilson bt Piotr Grudzien 3-2 (5-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-5, 11-4)
Marcin Skrzynecki bt Will Bayley 3-2 (13-11, 11-7, 6-11, 10-12, 13-11)
Grudzien/Skrzynecki bt Wilson/McKibbin 3-1 (8-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-4)

Women’s Class 1-3 Quarter-final
Great Britain 3-2 Turkey
Nergiz Altintas bt Jane Campbell 3-1 (11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-9)
Hatice Duman bt Sara Head 3-1 (9-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-7)
Sara Head bt Nergiz Altintas 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-7)
Jane Campbell bt Hatice Duman 3-2 (11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-8, 12-10)
Head/Campbell bt Altintas/Duman 3-0 (11-4, 12-10, 11-8)

Women’s Class 1-3 semi-final
Korea 3-0 Great Britain
Kyoung Hee Cho bt Sara Head 3-1 (11-9, 11-8, 7-11, 13-11)
Sang Sook Jung bt Jane Campbell 3-0 (11-5, 11-1, 11-7)
Sang Sook Jung bt Sara Head 3-1 (11-6, 6-11, 11-9, 16-14)

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