Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Be there to welcome Team GB home!

Provided by UK Deaf Sport

Heathrow Airport have kindly agreed to reserve an area in Terminal 3 Arrivals for Team GB supporters who would like to greet our athletes when they touch down on Thursday morning.

It's at a very early time in the UK - 6.20am - but your presence would give such a boost to our athletes after more than three weeks away in most cases.

Keep watching this site for further details.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Day 9 Report

Provided by UK Deaf Sport


Disappointment for Bagga

Rajeev Bagga's quest for gold faltered at the final hurdle when he was narrowly beaten (16-21, 21-17, 20-22) by Artemy Karpov of Russia.

The result is Bagga's first defeat to any Deaf competitor in 20 years of competition and his silver medal follows Singles gold at the previous five Deaflympics.

Bagga was a point away from glory at 20-19. But the Russian was returning Rajeev's smashes strongly and made it 20-all, before edging ahead to 21.

On the vital point, Karpov played a light drop serve which Bagga left, and it ooked to have landed out. But the umpire judged that the shuttlecock had fallen onto the line and Karpov fell to his knees in triumph.

Karpov - on a reputed €100,000 to win the title - took the first set when a netted Bagga backhand gave him a match point, which he took.

Immediately after the set, Team GB Badminton Manager had to stride onto court to ask for a third Russian official to be removed, as only two are permitted courtside.

In the second set, Bagga went from 11-15 down to 18-15 ahead and took the set five points later when he had Karpov straining and failing with a shot from the floor.

The quality of the badminton on show was superb and the two players exchanged the early points with some fierce rallies in the final set.

Karpov stayed in touch with Bagga throughout the last set and it really was very close to call. The British fans in the gallery were about to explode when Bagga reached 20 points but it was not to be.

Rajeev - who first won gold in Christchurch 1989 and carried his run through Sofia 1993, Copenhagen 1997. Rome 2001 and Melbourne 2005 - afterwards donated his silver medal to Lithuanian competitor Tomas DovyDaitis who had badly damaged his ankle in competition.

As one onlooker commented, "Rajeev may have lost the gold but he still has a heart of gold".

Team GB Badminton were in unison afterwards to point out that 22 year-old Karpov had been extremely well supported by the Russian structure. A five-month training programme was fully funded and his salary was understood to be covered during that period.

There was also disappointment in the Men's Doubles as Bagga and Carl Sadler lost their Bronze medal play-off match to a Korean pairing Lee and Sin in three sets.


Serena Blackburn made a late surge up the field to bag a bronze for GB in the Women's Marathon.

Serena had finished third in the most recent World Deaf Athletics Championships and proved that result was no fluke by passing three runners in the last five kilometres to move from sixth place up to the bronze position.

Serena had left the Team GB base before 4am for the 6am start outside Taipei but this inconvenience was worth enduring to be on the podium.

Team GB Athletics Manager Brian Kokoruwe was delighted with Serena's "amazing determination" and the medal caps a good haul for his squad, who have two silvers and two bronzes from Taipei.

Timothy Stones was one of the runners to complete the Men's Marathon. A number of runners dropped out in the punishing heat and humidity.

Brian K explained that Timothy had travelled to Taipei from his base in South Africa, "where it is a completely different climate at the moment, so he's done really well to stick it out in today's conditions".


Team GB continued their recent good form to finish top of the 9-16th play-offs. In their last game of the Deaflympics, the 2005 Champions beat Spain 3-0.

An own goal set GB on their way and further strikes from Jamie Clarke and Chris Beech sealed a comfortable win and left the squad thinking of what might have been.

Table Tennis

Team GB completed their matches today (Andrew Calloway narrowly losing 3-2) but the squad will put Taipei 2009 down to experience as they look ahead to Athens 2013.

Day 8 Report

Provided by UK Deaf Sport


Another medal for Hannah Fitton!

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.

Table Tennis

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.

Day 7 Report

Provided by UK Deaf Sport


Gold for Anthony Sinclair and Catherine Graham!

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 claims a silver medal in 800m!

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.

Table Tennis

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.

Day 6 Report

Provided by UK Deaf Sport


There was great news for Team GB this evening when 16 year-old Hannah Fitton scooped her third bronze medal of the Games.

Hannah surged through the field in the 200m Freestyle event to land third place and add another medal to the two she won for GB earlier this week.

Hannah's bronze collection is now 200m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley but her third success needed a slice of luck.

Team GB Swimming Manager Vincent Dickson explained:

“Hannah made a mistake in her morning heat, which meant she was only able to finish ninth in the list of qualifiers.

“However, a withdrawal meant that she moved up into eighth place and in the race itself she came in from absolutely nowhere to grab the bronze.”

“In doing that, she broke the British record by three seconds!”


GB had three representatives in the Women's Hammer Final at Taipei Stadium this evening but it was Joanne Davison who gained a place on the podium.

Joanne, a gold medallist at the 2005 Games had to settle for a bronze this time with 47.06 metre. Gold was taken with a huge throw (60.27) from the Norwegian newcomer Trude Raad.


Team GB Women will have to aim for a repeat of their Melbourne bronze medal after losing their semi final 2-1 to holders USA.

Two quick USA moves saw GB 2-0 down at the interval but the second half was a different story as the British team had the better of the play.

USA were restricted to one meaningful shot on goal and substitute Catherine Eyley won a free kick on the right with less than five minutes to go.

Eyley got up to cross into the box, where captain Esther Maycock powered home a header.

The game was on but despite the best efforts of Eyley and a tireless Camilla Willis, the holders held onto reach the final, where they will play Germany who stormed back from 3-0 down to beat Russia, 4-3.

Team Manager George McGowan was frustrated afterwards: "USA had four days' rest (because of a smaller group) - we only had one day. We were very close".

GB will be hoping for revenge on Russia after losing 6-2 to them in their final group game earlier this week.


Team GB's two pairings moved through to the next round of the Mixed Doubles event as the day was closing here in Taipei.

Carl Sadler and Andrea Hardwick were composed as they beat their French opponents in two sets.

At the same time on a nearby court, new pairing Xander Hurley and Kirstie Allen had to pull out all the stops to beat their Indian challengers in a tough last set.

Earlier, it had been the Battle of Britain when Dominic Caswell took on the might of Rajeev Bagga in the Men's Singles.

Bagga swiftly moved on with his aim of a sixth straight title but he won't be joined by Hurley who lost against Muller of Switzerland.

Caswell and Hurley regrouped in the afternoon to make it through in the Men's Doubles but Hardwick and Allen went out of the Women's event in a morning match.

Table Tennis

Team GB were in doubles action this evening, with Andrew Calloway and Nicholas Gilmour playing an Italian pairing. Calloway and Gilmour took a game from the opposition but 1-4 was the final score.

Days 5 Report

Provided by UK Deaf Sport


Team GB are through to the final of the Mixed Doubles Event after a superb performance from Anthony Sinclair and Catherine Graham

The duo guaranteed themselves at least a silver medal when they beat Japan's Tetsuya Matsushita and Yachiyo Abe 6-1, 6-1.

The British second seeds will play Italian top seeds Gianpaolo Damiani and Barbara Oddone in the final.

The Italians are unbeaten in the mixed doubles at any Deaflympics since 1989.

"We're thrilled to be in the final", Sinclair commented afterwards.

"Catherine and I are going to try our hardest to break that (the Italians') hold on the trophy".

Saturday's final will take place in front of the TV cameras on Centre Court, where Lewis Fletcher and Darren O'Donnell exited at the semi-final stage today in the Men's Doubles.


Team GB Men put the disappointment of not making the medal stages behind them by thumping South Africa 5-0 in the 9-16th play-off.

In slightly cooler conditions than in previous games, GB took the lead via Nick Gregory.

Matthew Byfield, and shortly afterwards, Daniel Hogan with a great shot put GB in control of the game at 3-0.

Oliver Monksfield returned from suspension to get in on the act, adding the fourth before Steven Gardiner put the seal on things with a header.

"Four out of my nine goals for GB have been headers", Gardiner remarked modestly afterwards. "So I suppose I'm quite good at them!"


Taipei schools have each been allocated a nation at the Deaflympics to support and Team GB are being backed by the kids from Dun Hua Junior High School.

Our friends with their flags were out in force today at the badminton venue this afternoon, cheering on Team GB in their Men's singles matches.

Carl Sadler won his game when his opponent retired but his exit from the competion overall allows him to focus on the doubles, where he will partner Rajeev Bagga.

"I rather enjoyed it", said a surprised Sadler of the attention he got today.

"They were even taking photographs of me as I was leaving the court, but it was great".

Xander Hurley is through to the last 32, as is Dominic Caswell, who has an all-British tie against Bagga tomorrow.

Kirstie Allen and Caroline Bird were in Ladies Singles action this morning but both players lost their matches.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Day 4 report

Provided by UK Deaf Sport


Rajeev Bagga started his quest for a record sixth straight consecutive Deaflympic gold today.

He was first in action this morning, winning in two sets before returning in the afternoon (the early stages of Singles in Badminton are played in 'round robin' format) to again win in two sets.

Andrea Hardwick and Xander Hurley were the pick of the other players, taking their higher-ranked opponents to close games.


Team GB's field athletes competed for the first time in these Deaflympics this evening at the Taipei Stadium. Joanne Davison and Bethan Lishman were both in the final of the Women's Discus event but the specialist hammer throwers could not progress beyond the first stage.


After their superb displays yesterday, both Lewis Fletcher and Darren O'Donnell crashed out of the Men's Singles in the third round. Catherine Graham also made an exit in the Women's Singles.

But there was brighter news in the afternoon, when Anthony Sinclair and Graham teamed up to win their Mixed Doubles match. Anthony and Catherine are now through to the semi-finals, due to take place tomorrow afternoon.


Breakthrough 16 year old swimmer Hannah Fitton reached her third final today; qualifying in 8th place but finishing a respectable seventh out of a strong field.

Table Tennis

The boys on the small green table were in action today, trying their best in the defeat to Belgium, 3-1.


Team GB Women now face a tough semi final against reigning champions USA on Friday after losing 6-2 to Russia in their final group game.

An early penalty from Danielle Evans put GB in the lead but by half-time the Russians had surged ahead 3-1.
A Camilla Willis goal from an Esther Maycock cross in the second half gave GB hope but it was mostly
one-way traffic after that as Russia added three more goals.