Hewett and Reid are through to the wheelchair tennis semi-finals. They closed out victory over their Belgian opponents 6-2, 6-2 and the British top seeds now take their place in the last four.
That wraps up our live coverage of the day six action from Tokyo. We’ll leave you with Paul MacInnes’s report from what is indisputably going to be one of the highpoints of the whole thing. Thanks for joining us, and hey, let’s do this again on day seven. Good day!
Earlier on, Ellie Robinson gave us one of the moments of these Games with this impassioned interview on Channel 4. It’s a poignant reminder of the struggles and sacrifices so many Para-athletes go through just to be here.
Wheelchair tennis latest: Hewett and Reid broke early in the second set, but their Belgian opponents have hit back. The British pair lead 6-2, 3-2, but we’re back on serve.
Back in the wheelchair tennis … Hewett and Reid have taken the first set against Gerard and Vandorpe. The Belgians broke back to 4-2 after their slow start but were unable to make further inroads, losing the set 6-2.
All courts are now into their final matches of the day as the action begins to wind down in Tokyo for another day. Once again the medal table makes great reading for fans of China (now on 54 golds) and Britain (26 golds) …
Japan hesitant in embracing Paralympics
Gavin Blair reports from Tokyo …
While it is difficult to assess the exact impact of the pandemic on attitudes towards the Paralympics, it is hard to deny that they have not been embraced in the way the Olympics were, despite significant public opposition in the lead up to hosting the Games.
Nearly 4.5 million tickets were sold for the Tokyo Olympics, compared to around 770,000 for the Paralympics, though ultimately none were able to be used for either event due to the pandemic. By way of comparison, more than two million tickets were sold for the 2012 Paralympics in London.
And the opening ceremony of the Olympics logged viewing figures of more than 54% in Japan, while fewer than 24% tuned in for the Paralympics counterpart.
In terms of coverage, public broadcaster NHK is leading the way with a plan to broadcast more than 500 hours of the Paralympics across all its channels and online. But the situation at the big five commercial stations is very different, each broadcasting one event plus limited highlights of other para-sports.
Our daily briefings are a great wrap-up of each days’ action in Tokyo.
Not signed up yet? Say, why not do so right now. It’s miles kinder on the eyes than scrolling backwards through all this frantically-bashed out bloggy stuff.
The T64 men’s 100m medals are being handed out. Peacock and Floors look thrilled with their bronzes, but what a moment for Costa Rica’s Sherman Guity Guity. Well out of the conversation in the runup to the final, he took a sensational silver and is beaming behind his mask in what I have to say is an extremely tidy red Puma track top.
Felix Streng is the man atop the podium however, and the 26-year-old looks a formidable champion with many more races and at least another Games or two potentially ahead of him.
Back on court … Britain’s Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett are in charge of their wheelchair tennis quarter-final against Joachim Gerard and Jef Vandorpe of Belgium. The top seeds are 4-0 up in the opening set.
Ellie Robinson, the British Paralympic swimmer, has revealed the struggles she endured just to get to Tokyo as she battled a chronic condition in her right hip that looks set to end her swimming career on the day she turned 20.
In her own words it is a “story of triumph, not a story of defeat” after Robinson made it to the final of the women’s S6 50m butterfly in her second Paralympic Games. She placed fifth in the race, an achievement she said had allowed her to “finish on my own terms” after Perthes’ disease meant that “time was up” for her hip.
“Even though I have deteriorated physically and my hip is in a very bad way, I think I am mentally stronger than ever,” Robinson said after the race. “I am so proud of where I am. I don’t want this to be a story of sorrow and heartbreak, I want this to be a story of triumph because it is. I did what I wanted to do and I finished on my own terms and proved to myself that I had it in me.
Some more athletics results to wrap up … Mahdi Olad took men’s F11 shot put gold for Iran, with Alessandro da Silva winning silver for Brazil and Oney Tapia bronze for Italy.
The RPC’s Evgenii Torsunov won the T36 long jump in a Games record of 5.76m. New Zealand’s William Stedman saved his best for last, taking silver with a national record leap of 5.64m. Roman Pavlyk of the Ukraine also improved at the final opportunity, pipping Aser Almeida Ramos to bronze by 5cm with his last-round effort 5.63m.
More Ukrainian medals in the F53 women’s discus, with Iana Lebiedieva and Zoia Ovsii taking silver and bronze respectively in their F53 and F51 categories. But it was Brazil’s Elizabeth Rodrigues Gomes who took the gold, in a new F52 world record of 17.62m.
More from that T64 100m – lest it go overlooked, Sherman Guity Guity actually won Costa Rica’s first ever Paralympic medal in taking silver.
Guity benefitted from the Games’ postponement as he was suspended for two years for a doping violation – one I stress that the IPC ruled was not intentional – and only became eligible to return to competition last month. And now: history for his country, a brilliant silver medal and a personal best.
GOLD! Australia win men’s 4x100m free 34pts
To wrap up today’s action in the pool … Australia took a brilliant gold and world record in the final event of day six, the men’s 4x100m freestyle 34pts. This features athletes from a range of categories, where the numbers have to add up to no more than 34.
Gold then to Rowan Crothers (S10), William Martin (S9), Matthew Levy (S7) and Ben Popham (S8) – their time of 3:44.31 gave them the win over quartets from Italy (3:45.89) and Ukraine (3:47.40).
A little earlier, Ihar Boki took gold for Belarus in the SM13 men’s 200m IM, with Alex Portal and Thomas van Wanrooij rounding out the medals.
Jia Ma won the SM11 women’s IM from her Chinese compatriot Cai Liwen, with 17-year-old Anastasia Pagonis taking bronze for the US.
The gold medallist tells Channel 4: “It was a tough race. I think it was the strongest race in Paralympics history.
“All the hard work we put in, it all worked out. What we want to show in Paralympic sports is that it’s very competitive. We need way more international races, to get back on the Diamond League circuit.”
The latter point is a hugely important one. These athletes are absolutely phenomenal and nobody’s wandering to buy a hotdog when they take to the track. Every athletics meeting I’ve been to where there have been disability events included, at every level from local to national and international, they have had the crowds absolutely spellbound. Front and centre please, always.
The bronze medallist tells Channel 4: “The last 30 … I started going backwards, I started leaning backwards … I probably should have won that.”
“I’m happy, I had a hamstring injury in May. I’m really happy to have turned this around.”
It’s a mixture of what-ifs and pride from the Brit, who was clear before Tokyo that he was not favourite for gold. But he was right up there all the way to the line. Take nothing away from Streng and Guity however, and with every replay it’s really quite astonishing how far back in the field Floors came back from to take his share of bronze.
BRONZE! Jonnie Peacock third in T64 100m for GB
Streng took victory in 10.76, with Costa Rica’s Sherman Guity Guity second in a brilliant PB of 10.78 … Peacock and Johannes Floors will share bronze after both crossed the line in 10.79.
It was a sensational finish from Floors, roaring back from well adrift as Peacock seemed to be tying up slightly. It was a best effort of the year from the Briton, who arrived in Tokyo having failed to get below 11 seconds beforehand.
GOLD! Felix Streng wins T64 100m for Germany
The other medals will need the photo finish to unpick them. That was tight at the line, with GB’s Peacock in the mix, but the German was just about clear.
For context, this is not the same category (T44) where Peacock won gold in 2012 and 2016. The T64 classification introduced since the Rio Games is explained as: “Lower limb/s competing with prosthesis affected by limb deficiency and leg length difference.” Peacock is third-fastest on time. They’re taking the blocks …
Next up on the track … the T64 men’s 100m final. Jonnie Peacock v Felix Streng v Johannes Floors. For the first time today, my eyes are on one event and one event only. This could be one of the highlights of these Games.
GOLD! Anton Prohorov wins T63 100m for RPC
A tight finish … but RPC’s Anton Prokhorov blasts out of the blocks and holds off a storming pick-up from Brazil’s Vinicius Rodrigues – who was fourth at halfway – to take victory in 12.04sec and the T42 world-record. Rodrigues ran out of track in chasing him down and was just one hundredth behind, with Germany’s Leon Schaefer winning bronze in a PB of 12.22.
It’s men’s T63 100m final time … and this should be a cracker. Games champion, world champion and world-record holder all feature …
In the T36 men’s long jump … Evgenii Tursunov now leads the way for Not Russia, with a Games record of 5.76. They’re partway through the penultimate round there.
More news from the pool. A short time ago, Italy’s Carlotta Gilli won her second gold of these Games, and her fifth medal in five events, in the women’s SM13 200m individual medley. She finished 5.36sec clear of Colleen Young of the USA in a new world record, with Uzbek athlete Shokhsanamkhon Toshpulatova (a name worth 53 points in Scrabble) taking bronze.
That’s now two golds, two silvers and a bronze for the 20-year-old Italian.
GOLD! Sumit Antil win F64 javelin for India
Sumit Antil has taken a stunning F64 javelin gold for India. What a competition – three world records and a no-throw among his six efforts. And it wasn’t the only world-record out there: final-round drama saw Australia’s Michael Burian hurl his final throw to 66.29m, a world-record for the F44 category which forms part of the umbrella F64 classification. That was more than good enough for silver.
That throw beat Dulan Kodithuwakku’s F44 world-record of 65.61 from the fourth round, relegating the Sri Lankan athlete into bronze.
Antil’s story is quite something – he was a wrestling prodigy whose career was derailed after a tractor crushed his left leg during an accident while he was out cycling. This is his first Paralympics, and his first medal. On today’s form it doesn’t look like it’ll be his last.
Phew. I can vouch that even crossing the room to flick a light switch (it’s murky here in SG19 today) results in you missing something. In the athletics, GB’s Columba Blango is among the qualifiers for the final in the men’s T20 (intellectual impairment) 400m. Deliber Rodriguez Ramirez topped the standings with 48.57sec, with Blango one of six athletes going below 49sec. That final is tomorrow and could be an absolute cracker.
Jordanne Whiley has won her second-round match in the tennis, beating Manami Tanaka 6-1, 6-0 in just 52 minutes.
Daniel was frantically scrabbling for a clip earlier … but Channel 4 have now published this wonderful, emotional poolside interview with Ellie Robinson. Watch this now please.
In the tennis … Jordanne Whiley closed out the first set and is a break up in the second. Alfie Hewett, meanwhile, has joined GB teammate and doubles partner Gordon Reid in the next phase thanks to a 6-1, 2-6, 6-3 victory over Ruben Spaargaren of the Netherlands.
However GB’s Lucy Shuker, however, is out after a straight-sets defeat by China’s Zu Zhenzhen. She took the first set to a tie-break against the seventh seed but went down 7-6 (2), 6-2.
In the Olympic Stadium, Venezuela’s Linda Perez Lopez took victory the second T11 100m semi-final with a PB of 12.29.
Things tightened up a little in the F64 javelin, with Dulan Kodithuwakku of Sri Lanka cutting Antil’s lead thanks to a PB of 65.61m. How best to respond? Another bloody world record – the Indian thrower’s third in five throws. He now leads with 68.55m, with the final round shortly to begin.
SILVER! Natasha Baker wins equestrian medal for GB
More horse-based bling for ParalympicsGB. Baker, a triple gold-medallist in Rio, has ridden Keystone Dawn Chorus to second place in the Individual Freestyle Test – Grade III.
Tobias Jorgensen of Denmark danced majestically with his mount for a huge score to take gold – his second of the Games – while Ann Cathrin Lübbe of Norway won bronze.
Back at the Ariake Tennis Centre, Jordanne Whiley, the fourth seed, has stormed to a 5-0 lead in the opening stages against Japan’s Manami Tanaka. She’ll shortly be serving for the first set. The Brit is the daughter of Keith Whiley, who took a bronze in athletics at the 1984 Games, as well as taking part in the shooting.
Smith starts well but Italy’s Trimi turns first – the Italian powers away from the American on the second length and just misses the world record. Iuliia Shishova of Not Russia takes bronze, with Challis fourth, just shy of her own British record, which she set in qualifying.
At Tokyo Aquatics Centre – the S3 100m freestyle final is about to take place. Ellie Challis – just 17 – took silver in the 50m backstroke yesterday, and goes again here. Arjola Trimi, who won gold in that race, also lines up. Leanne Smith of the USA was fastest qualifier and completes the trio seeded in the centre lanes.
Back on track … the women’s T11 (vision impairment) 100m semi-finals are taking place. In the first of two, Brazi’s Jerusa Geber dos Santos has made it through, in a time of 12.26sec. In the field, more good news for Brazil as Aser Mateus Almeida Ramos leads the way in the early stages of the T36 (coordination impairments) long jump.
GB’s Gordon Reid is through in straight sets in the wheelchair tennis. The Rio gold medallist and two-times grand slam champion comfortably beat home hope Takashi Sanada 6-2, 6-1 in 62 mins. He’ll be back on court later for a men’s doubles quarter-final alongside Alfie Hewett.
Other athletics golds to be handed out in the next few hours …
- F64 men’s javelin
- F53 women’s discus
- T36 men’s long jump
- F11 men’s shot put
- T63 men’s 100m
- T64 men’s 100m
Fireworks have already ensued in the field as India’s Sumit Antil – a former wrestler – has launched the javelin to two world records with his first two attempts. His second was a superb 68.08m. Plenty of throwing still to be done there, but he currently leads by just shy of six metres.
Greetings! Once again, barely time to catch breath among an absolutely stuffed programme.
The evening athletics is under way at the Olympic stadium, and the first of seven finals has just been decided, with No No No No No Not Russia’s Dmitrii Safronov taking gold in the T35 men’s 100m … and another world record – 11.39sec. Ukraine’s Ihor Tsvietov (11.47) and RPC’s Artem Kalashian (11.75) took silver and bronze, both setting PBs.