Baku Bulletin: Day Six in Review

Baku Bulletin: Day Six in Review

18 June 2015 / 15:48

Three medals for Team GB on day six with diver Lois Toulson stealing the show with gold in the women’s platform. Fellow diver James Heatly and taekwondo player Lutalo Muhammad added bronze while there were plenty more impressive performances to shout about. Here’s our round up of Day six in Baku.

Live action

  • Lois Toulson tops women’s platform pile while James Heatly wins 1m springboard bronze
  • Lutalo Muhammad battles back to collect bronze
  • Paul Drinkhall books himself a semi-final spot
  • Luek McCormack advances but Joshua Buatsi falls short
  • Brinn Bevan and Kelly Simm impress in all-around finals
  • John Hammond finished 20th in 50m rifle prone qualification
  • Jake Sheaf and Chris Gregory fall to Spain
  • Water polo team sign off with victory over Israel
  • Chinu suffers early loss

Around the village

  • Savannah Marshall itching to make more history
  • Bianca Walkden keen to get going after world title

Toulson produces golden performance while Heatly dives to bronze

Lois Toulson thought she was in with a chance of a European Games medal but surprised even herself as she produced a stunning performance to clinch women's platform gold.

The 15-year-old found herself in pole position heading into the final dive and held her nerve with a 2 ½ somersault 1/ ½ twists to score 84.8 and secure her the gold medal with 456.7 overall.

“I was so nervous but I just had to find a way to calm myself down so I could concentrate on the dives,” she said.

“I got a good score to make the final and I was hoping for a medal but I didn’t think it would be gold.”

There was disappointment however for Shanice Lobb who narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing fourth with a score of 379.70.

In the men's 1m springboard there was success for James Heatly who clinched bronze with a score of 483.4 but there was no such luck for Jordan Houlden who was down in ninth with 453.15.

Muhammad battles through repechages to clinch bronze

Lutalo Muhammad says gold was the goal but was still delighted  to come home with bronze after he earned a spot on the podium with victory over Italian Roberto Botta.

Muhammad underwent knee surgery five weeks ago but showed no signs of rust as he started the day with a 16-4 victory over Teodor Georgiev.

He came unstuck against home fighter Milad Beigi Harchegani as he went down 17-5 but the Azerbaijani's semi-final win gifted Muhammad a chance in the repechage.

And it was one he took as he saw off Damir Fejzic 8-7 and then beat Botta to claim bronze with an aggressive performance that forced his opponent to concede five red cards.

“The fact that I am here and able to compete with the best in the world is great,” he said. “I really wanted to get a gold medal for everyone that supported me.

“I tried my best under the circumstances and a bronze medal will have to do for today.”

Drinkhall repeats Russian trick to book semi spot

Paul Drinkhall was over the moon as he once again got the better of Portugal's Marcos Freitas and, in the process, booked his place in Friday's semi-final.

Drinkhall beat the Portuguese on his way to the Russian Open final in November and was in fine form again as he took the match 4-1 (11-6 11-6 3-11 11-6 11-9).

Earlier in the day the 25-year-old saw off Bojan Tokic and will now go head to head with Germany's number one seed Dimitrij Ovtcharov for a spot in the final.

“It's an amazing win really, I did beat him last time (in the Russian Open) but that was the tournament of my life and I managed to bring my form into this match,” he said.

However, Liam Pitchford's tournament came to an end after he was beaten 4-1 (11-8 11-6 11-6 9-11 11-8) by Ukraine's Lei Kou.  

McCormack through but Buatsi falls

There is plenty more to come according to Luke McCormack who comfortably saw off Panagiotis Matsagkos in his lightweight bout to book a spot in the last 16 in Baku.

The 20-year-old outboxed his Greek opponent to win a unanimous decision and set up a clash with France's Oumiha Sofiane.

But the Birtley man insists that he is just getting started and believes he can produce an even better performance next time out.

“I felt good but I felt I couldn't get out quickly and was sitting about for a while but I'll be 100% better in my next fight,” he said.

“I felt like I was in control but I didn't want to switch off in case he got on top of me and had another gear but I always comfortable.”

While there were celebrations for McCormack there was disappointment for Josh Buatsi who fell to a 3-0 defeat to home favourite Teymur Mammadov.

Bevan looks to learn from idols after all-around final

For Brinn Bevan the chance to compete against his idols softened the blow of a disappointing performance in the men's all-around artistic final on Thursday.

The 17-year-old struggled to find his groove and a poor dismount off the rings was followed by two falls from the high bar.

That left Bevan down in 14th with a score of 82.299 but he is sure the experience will prove vital in his development.

“It was a great experience being out there with more experienced gymnasts and the bigger names,” said Bevan.

“Today wasn't one of my best competitions but it was a big step in the right direction and my idols became my rivals so that was a great experience.”

Also in action was 20-year-old Kelly Simm who finished on 51.932 to take 11th in the women's final.

Hammond struggles to find rhythm with rifle

It was a case of fine margins for John Hammond after he admitted one rough patch and a race against the clock cost him in his 50m rifle prone qualification.

Hammond started well as he racked up 103.9 for his first series but he failed to beat that in his next five – the nail in the coffin came in the fourth where he could only manage 98.3.

Blustery conditions didn't help proceedings and Hammond finished 20th with 612.8 overall.

“My performance obviously wasn’t the best but it was a really challenging day, I really just had one little rough patch in the match that really cost me,” said Hammond.

“I think I had a little bit of time pressure end which I managed right at the end and just kind of struggled to get into the rhythm of that.”

Gregory and Sheaf take confidence despite Spanish defeat

Jake Sheaf is sure he and beach volleyball partner Chris Gregory are heading in the right direction despite suffering their second defeat in as many days.

The duo started their competition with defeat against Austria and came unstuck again as Spaniards Francisco Marco Arroyo and Christian Garcia Rodriguez finished 2-0 winners (23-21 21-14).

Next up is a battle against Estonia as they bring their pool stage to a close and Sheaf is expecting to see further improvements.

“I think we can take a lot of confidence from when it was good because it was a hell of a lot better than it was yesterday,” said Sheaf. “So gradually we are getting better and hopefully it will get better in the next game.”

Buller eyes improvement as water polo comes to close

Team leader Nick Buller believes Britain's water polo squad have learned valuable lessons from their time in Baku after their competition came to a close with a 10-5 victory over Israel.

Three goals from Grace Rowland and Lucy Shaw and four from Danica Brazier gave Team GB victory and saw them finish the tournament in 11th place.

“We’re pleased with today’s results, we saw how well Israel had played the day before and we how well they came back strongly in our first game so we knew it was going to be tough,” said Buller.

“It’s been fantastic for the girls to get this multi-sport experience. I think we’ve enjoyed it and made the most of every moment, we’ve learnt a lot from being here, especially how to deal with pressure and that’s going to be hugely beneficial going forward.”

Chinu determined to take lessons from loss

He might not have got the victory he was looking for but heavyweight wrestler Chinu says he will leave Baku as a better athlete.

The Commonwealth bronze medallist struggled to get going as he fell to a 4-0 qualification loss to Ukraine's Oleksandr Khotsianivskyi but he remained upbeat and wants to come back stronger than ever.

“It's very tough to compete against these nations. I win or I learn and that's the best way that I can look at it,” he said.

“I've learned from the experience and I have been training with wrestlers from other teams and I will learn from that.”

Walkden buzzing to begin

Bianca Walkden admits she's in a dreamland as she prepares to add to Great Britain's medal tally at the European Games.

Walkden is still buzzing from her gold medal success at the recent taekwondo World Championships and is looking to follow Team GB's Charlie Maddock and Jade Jones onto the top step on the podium in Baku.

The 23-year old, who competes in the +67kg category, is already the reigning European champion but has been carrying a knee injury since her win.

"Sometimes I forget that I’m world champion actually, it’s all a bit of a dream still to be honest," she said.

"It’s been great to do all the added stuff off the back of the worlds. I’m the type of girl who likes that sort of thing, getting all smart and getting your hair done for the cameras. It makes a change from our usual attire for fights where it’s all the same and you can’t really show off your style at all.

Marshall eyeing up yet more history

She has done it so often by now that you might think Savannah Marshall is getting bored of writing her name into the record books – but you couldn’t be further from the truth.

Marshall helped make history at London 2012 as women’s boxing was included on the programme for the first time, although she couldn’t make it past Marina Volnova in her quarter-final clash as the Ukrainian went on to claim middleweight bronze.

However, Marshall clearly had a taste for it and went on to help women’s boxing make an impression at the Commonwealth Games, as it again made its debut.

And Marshall was keen to make up for lost time, going on to claim gold this time around, beating Canadian Ariane Fortin in the final.

Marshall will once again make an imprint in the record books on Friday as she competes in the inaugural European Games – facing off against Nouchka Fontijn first up – and she can’t wait to get going.

“To be honest I feel like I have been in a bit of a hole, it was only when I got to kitting out that I realised how big the Games were going to be,” she said.

“I was obviously a part of the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games where females boxed for the first time, so to be a part of the first ever European Games is something else I can add to the list.

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