Day 9: Asian Nations at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

 Iran’s Nemati makes it three in a row, Thailand’s Paeyo gets his third Gold medal of the Games and Singapore’s Xiu gets her second, China dominates the Table Tennis

I.R. Iran’s Zahra Nemati showed why she is a true Paralympic Champion when the final of the Women’s Individual Recurve Open went to a shoot-out after five sets. With her opponent Vincenza PETRILLI from Italy scoring a 9 with her arrow, NEMATI kept her composure and scored a 10 to clinch her third consecutive Gold medal in the event.

At the Olympic Stadium, Thailand’s Pongsakorn PAEYO won his third medal of the Games in the Men’s 800m T53 event, adding to the ones he won over 400m and 100m, meaning that he has one more Gold medal than he won in Rio and making him one of the top muli-medallists of the Games so far.

At the Aquatics Centre, Singapore’s Yip Pin XIU won her second Gold medal of the Games in the Women’s 50m Backstroke S2 in a race which saw Asia in all three spots on the podium with Japan’s Miyuki YAMADA taking Silver and China’s Yazhu FENG in Bronze. This is her third Paralympic Gold medal in this event and means that Xiu has done the double as she did in Rio.

China’s paddlers also underlined their dominance of the sport by taking a clean sweep of all five Gold medals on offer today in the Teams competition, taking their total tally of Gold medals won in this sport alone to thirteen which is half of all of those won at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium so far.

It was the first day of Taekwondo as the sport made its Paralympic debut. All eyes were on Afghanistan’s Zakia KHUDADADI who had had to be dramatically evacuated from her home country to even make it to Tokyo. She fought in the first match of the Women’s K44 -49kg event and won the first round 6-5 but eventually lost the match 12-17 to Uzbekistan’s Ziyodakhon ISAKOVA. In the next round (the quarter-finals), Isakova beat one of the  favourite’s,  Mongolia’s Enkhtuya KHURELBAATAR but lost in the Semi-final so  fought Thailand’s PHUANGKITCHA Khwansuda for the bronze medal with the Thai athlete coming out on top. This was the only Asian medal on the first day of Taekwondo with Mongolia’s four-time World Champion Bolor Erdene GANBAT failing to get past the quarterfinal round.

In Football 5-a-side, China were hoping to reach the Gold medal match for the first time since their home Games in 2008 but it was not to be. They lost 0-2 to Rio Bronze medallists Argentina. They will now face Morocco in the Bronze medal match on Saturday (4th September.

In Goalball, China’s men secured their place in the Gold medal match when they beat USA 8-1 in a convincing display. They will now face Rio Bronze medallists Brazil in Friday’s Gold medal match.  Japan’s women lost out to 5-8 Turkey in their Semi-final. They will now face Brazil in the Bronze medal match tomorrow.

In Boccia, there are two more days of pool matches in the Team and Pairs competition with medals being decided on Saturday but teams from Asia are progressing well, especially in the BC1/C2 Team event where Asian countries are taking the top two spots in each group (China, Thailand, Korea and Japan).

In Wheelchair Basketball, China’s women faced the USA in the Semi-final. Having lost the first quarter, the Chinese team rallied to win the second quarter convincingly. This set them up so that even though there was only one point between the two sides in the third and fourth quarters, they ended up winners 41-36.  They will now play the Netherlands in the Gold medal match on Saturday.

In the Sitting Volleyball, Iran’s men were once again victorious, beating Bosnia and Herzegovina in straight sets to set up a final against the Russian Paralympic Committee on Saturday.

In Wheelchair Tennis it was a double delight for host nation Japan when Yui KAMIJI and Shingo KUNIEDA both won their Semi-finals to progress through to the Gold medal matches where they will both meet Dutch opponents. KAMIJI will play her final tomorrow with KUNIEDA on Saturday. China’s WANG and ZHU lost out to Great Britain’s WILEY and SHUKER in the Women’s Doubles Semi-final. They will now play Japan’s KAMIJI and OHTANI in the Bronze medal match.

At the Yoyogi Stadium, the Para Badminton Group Stage matches continued with top Asian para shuttlers winning their respective games. The semi-finals will be played on September 3 and finals on September 4, 2021.

Multiple -time World Champion and top seed Pramod BHAGAT of India is set to make the men’s singles SL3 semi-finals after winning two of his Group A matches in straight games.

So too will young Indonesian top seed Dheva ANRIMUSTHI and Malaysian CHEAH Liek Hou after comfortable wins in two of their men’s singles SU5 Group A and Group B matches.

In the wheelchair category, Korean top seed KIM Jung Jun won his WH2 singles and doubles matches (Group A) in straight games, while Japan’s Yamazaki YUMA won her women’s WH2 singles Group B and doubles (with Sarina SATOMI) Group A games.

In other women’s events, Indonesia’s doubles specialist LEANI RATRI Oktila won her Group A matches in all the three events – women’s singles SL4, women’s doubles SL3-SU5 and mixed doubles Sl3-SU5 with her respective partners.

The Asian nations medal table at the end of day 9 looks like this:

13I.R. Iran98118
53Sri Lanka1012
73Hong Kong0022
75Saudi Arabia0011
75Chinese Taipei0011

Tomorrow is the medal matches in Goalball, the first of the Canoe Sprint medals and the final medals in Road Cycling, Table Tennis, Swimming.

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