Tokyo 2020: Swimmer Suzanna Hext narrowly misses out on medal as wheelchair fencer Piers Gilliver vows to bounce back from day one setback
Swimmer Suzanna Hext narrowly missed out on a medal on the opening day of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as she finished fourth in the S5 200m freestyle.
Hext, who does her strength and conditioning work at the Team Bath Sports Training Village with English Institute of Sport (EIS) coach Michael Peacock, was in medal contention throughout Wednesday’s final before Italy’s Monica Boggioni came through in the closing stages to take bronze behind China’s Li Zhang and GB’s Tully Kearney.
It was a fine swim by Swindon ASC swimmer Hext, who touched the wall in 2:59.55 – well inside her pre-Games personal best – and will return to the Tokyo Aquatics Centre pool on Thursday for the S5 100m freestyle (heats at 1.13am BST). She will also contest the SB4 100m breaststroke and S5 50m backstroke over the next week.
The opening day of wheelchair fencing competition saw University-based Piers Gilliver edged out 15-12 in the Round of 16 by eventual gold-medallist Hao Li of China.
“I am very disappointed with today because it was a tough draw in the elimination round after the pool matches didn’t really go as I’d hoped,” admitted Gilliver, who won two and lost two of his Preliminary Pool matches.
“I fought well but just managed to miss out, which is tough to take. Now I must put it behind me and get focused on tomorrow as the epee is my stronger event. I am confident I can put in a good performance.”
Gilliver will be back on the piste on Thursday in the Category A epee, an event in which he is reigning World Champion and won silver at Rio 2016. Training partner and fellow World Champ Dimitri Coutya also begins four successive days of competition in the Category B epee.