Brits dig deep on day 2 in Rio

Author:
Paul Stimpson

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Will Bayley, Sue Gilroy, Rob Davies, Aaron McKibbin and David Wetherill are into the knockout stages of the Paralympics after day two in Rio.

Bayley, beaten yesterday by Brazil’s Israel Pereira Stroh, controlled his match today against Liao Keli of China, winning in three straight and therefore reaching the quarter-finals.

“It was very difficult to come back from yesterday,” said Bayley, “but I was lucky that the second game was this morning because I think if I had played him this evening it could have been a different story – thinking about it all day and thinking about the defeat yesterday.

“It was vital that I won the first game and he was playing really well – he surprised me with a lot of his shots and I was thinking ‘I just want to try and stay in there and try and nick the first set’.

“It is difficult playing a must win game against a Chinese player who comes up with some powerful shots and I was a bit lucky to win 3-0 because all the sets were quite tight. I just managed to play the big points well and that was the difference really.

“I think I was solid today – I have another level to go and I’m just delighted to come back and win today.”

But things were not so straightforward for Davies and Gilroy, who were both taken to a decider.

The pattern was the same for Davies and Gilroy, who were both pegged back twice by their opponents before coming through a decider and reaching the later rounds in the process.

For Gilroy, it was the first time through to the knockout stages in her fifth Paralympics and she said: “I’m absolutely thrilled.”

“I’m still not playing my best – I always find the group stages really difficult. Having China and Chinese Taipei in my group was a tough draw but I’ve come through that but now I need to start playing as I know I can and up my game. I just want to put into practice now all the training and the level of play that I know I’ve got.”

Davies said: “I’m happy to have got another win. If I could win them all 3-2 I’d be happy although I don’t know whether my coach would be.

“It was hard work but I battled on and that is the main thing I guess. Chuffed to have finished top of the group – there has been some upsets and I’m glad I’m not one of them.”

McKibbin picked up his first win of the event in MS8 and topped his group on countback to reach the knockout rounds. In the same class, there was a defeat for Ross Wilson in a close four-set match.

“I loved every second of it,” said McKibbin. “I’ve had the whole day to prepare and I think I’ve done myself justice.

“I’m a bit disappointed not to have closed out the third set at 10-7; from 10-7 to 10-9 I think I tried to finish it off a bit too early and from then maybe nerves kicked in a little bit.

“I can’t be too disappointed as I couldn’t really have played much better. It is the most comfortable I’ve ever beaten him and he’s a very good player.”

David Wetherill was beaten by Germany’s Thomas Rau but still advanced as group runner-up.

Daybell had the narrowest squeak of the day as Indonesia’s Dian Jakobs twice hit back to level and Daybell finally took it 14-12 in the fifth – having won the third by the same score. He has another group match on Saturday.

Paul Karabardak suffered two five-set defeats, narrowly missing out in a deciding game against a Korean opponent before seeing a 2-0 lead evaporate against Matias Pino of Chile.

The same fate befell Jack Hunter-Spivey in his second match of the day as Brazil’s Claudiomiro Segatto overturned a 2-0 deficit. Hunter-Spivey had earlier been defeated 3-0 on his Paralympic debut by Germany’s Valentin Baus. Paul Davies also suffered defeat in his latest match.

Results

MS7
Group A
Will Bayley bt Liao Keli (CHN) 3-0 (11-7, 11-8, 11-7)

MS5
Group D
Valentin Baus (GER) bt Jack Hunter-Spivey 3-0 (11-4, 11-8, 12-10)
Claudiomiro Segatto (BRA) bt Hunter-Spivey 3-2 (7-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-8)

MS6
Group D
Thomas Rau (GER) bt David Wetherill 3-0 (11-7, 12-10, 11-6)

Group E
Park Hong-Kyu (KOR) bt Paul Karabardak 3-2 (2-11, 12-10, 4-11, 12-10, 11-8)
Matias Pino (CHI) bt Karabardak 3-2 (7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8)

MS1
Group A
Rob Davies bt Andrea Borgato (ITA) 3-2 (11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8)

Group C
Lee Chang Ho (KOR) bt Paul Davies 3-1 (11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7)

MS10
Group B
Kim Daybell bt Dian Jakobs (INA) 3-2 (11-7, 9-11, 14-12, 5-11, 14-12)

WS4
Group C
Sue Gilroy bt Lu Pi-Chun (TPE) 3-2 (11-3, 2-11, 11-2, 6-11, 11-5)

MS8
Group C
Aaron McKibbin bt Marc Ledoux (BEL) 3-1 (11-4, 11-5, 10-12, 11-3)

Group E
Marcin Skrzynecki (POL) bt Ross Wilson 3-1 (11-4, 7-11, 12-10, 13-11)

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