Day 4 – Elimination Day
After the shocks from yesterday it was time for the athletes to prove that they deserved to be in the knock out stages of the competition. The day started with the BC1 last 32 games and it’s difficult to look past the Korean athletes for the medals. Howon Jeong, Yejin Choi and Hansoo Kim all won their games and advance into the quarter finals. The GB athletes will be hoping that they can spoil the Korean party but the man with the best chance is Greg Polychronidis (Greece). He found himself 3-5 down going in to the last end but he showed his class and eventually beat Aleksander Legostaev (Russia) 6-5.
Newly classified athlete Jamie McGowan has now set up a tough quarter final match with Choi, and if he can get through that he’ll be a serious contender for a medal. It’s important not to forget about Australia’s Daniel Michel. His only loss in the event so far came against favourite, Jeong. He’ll now face another serious challenge against Jeong’s fellow compatriot, Hansoo Kim.
The tie of the round in the BC1 was between David Smith (Great Britain) and Daniel Perez (Netherlands). Smith struggled his way through pool B while Perez had been in fine form earlier in the week. Daniel took the first end 1-0 bit Smith took the next 2 to take a 4-1 lead into the 4th. A short 4th end left Perez with 1 final ball and the chance to score the 3 needed for a tie break. Unfortunately for the Dutch fans Perez wasn’t able to deliver but the game ended with a fair 4-3 score line.
The two Thai favourites were in action side by side on courts 5 and 7. Pattaya Tadtong made short work of Jose Manuel Prado (Spain) in their match. The damage was done in the 2nd end where Tadtong won 5-0 to put him 7-0 overall. Prado tried to fight back but the task was a little too tough for the Spaniard who was well beaten in the end. It was a similar story for Witsanu Haudpradit over on court 7. Like his fellow countryman, a commanding 2nd end made it difficult for Qi Zhang (China) to progress. In truth the neither athlete looked like losing.
The Greek team also had cause for celebration as Soulanis came through a tough match with Antonio Marques (Portugal) 6-3. The last match to finish was the match between Takumi Nakamura (Japan) and Lima (Brazil). Lima won the first 3 ends 1-0 but Nakamura worked to the end to claw back the deficit. In the end there was too much ground for the Japanese athlete to make up and the Brazilian took it to take a 4-0 overall victory.
The drama started before the players even arrived on court in the BC4 event. Laszlo Hegedus from Hungary received his second yellow card of the competition as one of his balls failed the equipment check in the call room. That gave Stephen McGuire a clear run into the quarter finals.
As the games got underway it was the Asian athletes that were dominating with 5 of the 8 athletes to go through from the region. The most dominant performance was from Pornchoc Larpyen who won his match 7-0 against Hyeon Seo (Korea). Kim (Korea) raced into a 6-0 lead and it looked like the game was over, but Dos Santos fort back and almost took the game to a tie break but fell just short, as the tie ended 6-5.
Favourite Yuk Leung looked invincible as he won his game 8-1. It was a miserable morning for the Netherlands on court 1 as both of their remaining athletes crashed out of the competition. There were wins also for Nadav Levi (Israel), Jeongmin Sohn (Korea), Jesus Damian Oseguera (Mexico) and success at last for Portugal as Abilio Bessa Valente won 5-2.
After lunch the BC2 events began. Maciel Santos won 8-2 and showed the rest of his competitors just why he is the man to beat. All the drama tho happened on court 3. The score between Hidetaka Sugimura (Japan) and Robert Mezik (Czech Republic) was 3-3 after 4 ends of play and the match was sent into a tie break. The pair traded blow for blow in the tie break and after constructing a pyramid shared a point a piece in the first tie break end. Into the second Japan landed a great second ball next to the jack. Mezik then played himself back into the end but in one of the tightest games of the competition Sugimura snook closer and Mezik was unable to respond.