Home representation didn’t last long on the first day of the World Games squash competition at Kaohsiung’s Martial Arts Stadium yesterday.
In the women’s tournament, No. 2 seed Natalie Grinham of the Netherlands thrashed Taiwan’s Pan Kuei-yeh 11-1, 11-1, 11-1 in their first round encounter.
In the men’s competition later in the day, Huang Cheng-yao also lost in three sets against James Willstrop of the UK. But at least Huang put up more resistance than Pan, engaging the No. 2 seed in a series of exciting rallies that got the crowd behind him.
Huang fought hard early on in the first set before losing 11-4 before taking five points in losing the second set. Huang briefly led in the third before Willstrop’s class began to tell, with the Briton eventually wrapping up the set 11-7 to take the match.
In the final day of the air sports, Taiwan’s sole competitor, paratrooper Pan I-lung, finished last in the accuracy landing final.
Pan scored 12cm, 3cm, 10cm, 4cm, 2cm and 11cm in his six jumps at the Metropolitan Park for a cumulative total of 42cm, way behind gold medal winner German Stefan Weisner’s winning total of 9cm.
In the other disciplines, Canada’s Jason Moledzki took gold in the canopy piloting, while the US won in the canopy formation. The US also won gold in the formation skydiving while France secured first place in the freeflying.
Meanwhile, in the Frisbee, a large crowd of cheering fans at the Main Stadium couldn’t prevent Taiwan from falling to an embarrassing 13-0 defeat at the hands of the UK in their final preliminary match.
Taiwan had a chance for revenge in the afternoon when they faced the same opponents in the fifth-sixth place play off, but slipped to another defeat. The 13-6 loss made it six defeats in six matches and a last place finish.
TUESDAY, July 21Air Sports
Gold: United States
Gold: Stefan Wiesner (Germany)
Silver: Robert Juris (Slovakia)
Bronze: Liubov Ekshikeeva (Russia)
Gold: Jason Moledzki (Canada)
Silver: Nicholas Batsch (US)
Bronze: Marat Leiras (Brazil)
Bronze: Great Britain
Gold: United States
Gold: United States
Gold: Mikola Cherbak/Sergei Popov (Ukraine)
Silver: Alexei Dudchenko/Konstantin Pilipchuk (Russia)
Bronze: Douglas Fordyce/Edward Upcott (Great Britain)
Silver: Great Britain
Gold: Anna Korobeynikova (Russia)
Silver: Anzhelika Soldatkina (Russia)
Bronze: Emily Smith (Canada)
Gold: Andrey Krylov (Russia)
Silver: Michael Barnes (Great Britain)
Bronze: Viktor Kyforenko (Ukraine)
Men’s Fighting 69kg
Gold: Julien Boussuge (France)
Silver: Mathias Brix Willard (Denmark)
Bronze: Fedor Serov (Russia)
Men’s Fighting 85kg
Gold: Andreas Kuhl (Germany)
Silver: Dmitry Nobolsin (Russia)
Bronze: Matthias Gastgeb (Austria)
Women’s Fighting 62kg
Gold: Sabrina Hatzky (Germany)
Silver: Yang Hsien-tzu (Taiwan)
Bronze: Yulia Berezikova (Russia)
Ranked 18th in the world in Ultimate Frisbee, Taiwan were always going to struggle against the top five nations in the world, but coach Lin Ming-tsong was happy with the team’s efforts, saying that their performances in the first four matches were pretty good and that the team members had given it their best shot.
The US went on to take the gold medal after beating Japan 13-6 in the final, while Australia beat Canada 13-8 to claim bronze.
World Games 2009 Kaohsiung Organizing Committee (KOC) managing director Liu Shyh-fang said ticket sales, which were rather slack before the Games began, have picked up since the spectacular opening ceremony was broadcast. Some events have seen long lines of people waiting to buy tickets.
Tickets for Sunday’s closing ceremony were sold out last week. In response to strong demand, the KOC is making 1,000 additional tickets for the closing ceremony available through the iBon booking system starting today. Booking terminals can be found at 7-Eleven convenience stores nationwide.
KOC Culture and Tourism Department CEO Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) said extra seats would be made available by rearranging equipment to be used during performances.
Ticket sales for the opening and closing ceremonies, including the 1,000 newly available tickets, will add up to 31,500 altogether.
The closing ceremony will be held in a carnival atmosphere, with live performances from veteran rockers Wu Bai (伍佰), Bobby Chen (陳昇) and other stars.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER