Strong winds and rain showers caused by Tropical Storm Molave had minimal effect on the action on the second day of competition at the World Games in Kaohsiung yesterday.
The second day of air sports may have been canceled and the canoe polo moved indoors, but over at Siziwan the beach handball went ahead with the wind whipping across the bay and waves crashing onto the shore creating a stunning backdrop to the competition.
The changeable weather conditions didn’t affect Taiwan’s men. Cheered on by a vocal crowd they fought back from a set down to grab shock victory against Asian champions Oman in their opening game.
Oman started strongly, racing to a 10-4 lead after just 2 minutes, 30 seconds, forcing the Taiwan coach to call a time out. Boosted by their pep talk, Taiwan fought back, remaining in contention throughout the remainder of the first half despite the best efforts of the Oman goaltender, who made a series of stunning acrobatic saves.
However, the crucial point in the 10-minute first period came with Taiwan trailing 22-19 and a minute remaining, when a low shot that would have bought them to within a point somehow bounced up and over the goal when the Oman goaltender was beaten. Oman then scored twice more to clinch the first set 26-19.
Taiwan began with much more confidence in the second set, racing to a 10-2 lead. It was a lead they would not lose as they stayed in control to take the set 18-10 and force a shootout.
Oman then self-destructed as they hit the post with their first two shots, allowing Taiwan to grab the upper-hand and hold on to win the shootout (7-6) and take the match.
Earlier, in the first action of the day, Taiwan’s ladies didn’t fare so well, losing 5-3 in a shootout to Macedonia after the two teams shared the first two sets.
• Sinon Bulls 8,
Uni-President Lions 7
• La New Bears 3,
Brother Elephants 1
• Uni-President Lions v Sinon Bulls
• La New Bears v Brother Elephants
In their second games later in the day, the men lost 7-2 to Brazil in a penalty shootout after sharing two sets in regulation play, while the ladies went down to a second defeat, losing 12-9, 17-6 to Ukraine.
In other ball sports, the ladies softball team continued their great preliminary round form, beating Russia 3-0 for a third victory to add to the opening day wins against Canada (11-0) and Japan (6-0). Their fourth game against Singapore was ongoing at press time.
Taiwan’s fistball team, however, were less successful. They were eliminated after losing 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 to reigning World, European and World Games champions Austria, followed by a 11-7, 11-7, 11-4 loss to Chile.