Japan won their first Paralympic triathlon medals on Saturday, but their wheelchair rugby players can’t do better than bronze after suffering a semi-final loss later today.
The triathlon competitors endured a sweltering morning in the Tokyo Bay area, although that didn’t stop Hideki Uda and Satoru Yoneoka from swimming, pedaling and running towards Japan’s first two Paralympic medals in the sport. .
Uda finished second in the men’s PTS4 category, beaten by 3 minutes and 47 seconds by Frenchman Alexis Hanquiquant. Yoneoka was third, 1:04 behind American Brad Snyder in the men’s PTVI event.
“When I finished the race I had a hard time controlling my emotions because I was overwhelmed by various feelings,” Uda said. “I felt really happy to run that home stretch.”
Japan’s dream of winning wheelchair rugby gold ended in a 55-49 semi-final loss to Great Britain.
The European champion’s stifling defense put the pincers on the Japanese, whose tryout total was around seven shy of what they averaged in their first three games.
“We knew the Japanese had high expectations of us, and I really wanted to make them happy, but today our best was not good enough,” said moving Daisuke Ikezaki, who led Japan with 13 tries, as a result of the loss.
“People have put so much effort into hosting the Paralympic Games during this difficult coronavirus situation. But we couldn’t live up to expectations, and that’s the really disappointing thing for me.”
Paralympics: Uda and Yoneoka win Japan’s first triathlon medals
Paralympics: Japan fall to Great Britain in wheelchair rugby semi-final
Swimmer Takayuki Suzuki stayed on track to achieve his goal of winning a medal in every individual event he contests at the Tokyo Games, this time touching bronze for his third medal.
Suzuki won his last medal in the men’s 150-meter medal medley SM4, adding it to the gold and bronze medals he had previously won in the 100 freestyle and 50 breaststroke, respectively.
The Japanese scorers enjoyed a two-game winning day, with the men’s team beating Lithuania 10-2 to stay ahead of their group, while the women claimed their first victory, edging the United States. 3-2. The women’s team is now in third place in its group and is in a good position to reach the quarter-finals.
Only one Japanese judoka reached a medal fight on Saturday.
Junko Hirose faced Turkish fighter Zeynep Celik for bronze, but she left Nippon Budokan empty-handed, coming out with a loss by ippon.
Junko Hirose (white) of Japan and Zeynep Celik of Turkey face off in a 57-kilogram women’s judo match for bronze at the Tokyo Paralympic Games on August 28, 2021, at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo. (Kyodo) == Kyodo
In wheelchair basketball, the Japanese men pushed ahead in the fourth quarter to turn a six-point deficit into a six-point victory over Canada. Hiroaki Kozai was the main man, scoring 24 points with Takuya Furusawa contributing 14.
Maki Ito lost in the semifinals of the Class 11 women’s table tennis event to take bronze.
The 36-year-old athlete with an intellectual disability lost in consecutive games to France’s Léa Ferney, but was two places better than her fifth place at the 2016 Paralympic Games.
Japan’s Takuya Furusawa scores a point in the third quarter of a preliminary round men’s basketball game against Canada at the Tokyo Paralympic Games on August 28, 2021 at Ariake Arena in Tokyo. (Kyodo) == Kyodo