London 2012 Olympics: 1st Day’s Action

ADPP was at the 1st day play of the London 2012 Olympics. We had front row seats (Only the best for our followers), and you hopefully kept up to date with the play via our twitter or Facebook! Just incase you didn’t, check out our review of the day’s play!

The Day’s Play

We had tickets for the afternoon session of play which started at 2:30 and went through to around 6pm. We also had a spectacular line up of matches due to be played and the competitors did not disappoint; with two British athletes in action.

First up we watched the fast paced women’s singles 1st round. Olufunke Oshonaike from Nigeria played Wenling Tan in the first match that really caught our eye. The Nigerian played valiantly and really had the crowd behind her with some spectacular attacking play. The Nigerian deserved a lot more luck than she got with the Italian punishing anything she got the bat on. The result did not reflect the quality of play from both opponents with the eventual winner being the Italian, who took it 4-0. This did not prove to be the only Nigerian player to catch the imagination of the crowd, but more on that later in the report!
The crowd then went wild…Joanna Parker was walking over to court 1 to begin her match against Brazil’s Kumahara. Although a lower ranking than her British Opponent- Kumahara had the skill to take this match to Joanna, so we knew we would be in for a good match. The 1st and 2nd set went quick; Parker won them 11-7 and 11-5 respectively and then fell 2-1 in the 3rd set. Her defence was next level, and the Brazilian must have started to wonder if there was any way past! The most excitement happened in the 3rd set when Joanna went 9-5 down. She then went on to win 6 points in a row and take the 3rd set 11-9 with the crowd rallying behind her as if she was about to take a penalty at a world cup final!

From our Twitter Today: “Joanna Parker goes 7-3 up in the 4th. Kumahara must be thinking she has a tennis racket as nothing has got past @JoannaParkertt today!!”

The 4th set took no time with the Brit securing her second round place with a 11-5 win. At times the Brazilian looked very capable of causing an upset but all the important points were won by Joanna and she did not let her opponent in once. We later spoke to Joanna and she said:

“In the 3rd set I went down 9-5…I thought to myself- I don’t want to have to play 5 sets! The crowd really got behind me and the atmosphere was incredible, it really helped!”
Next up was Paul Drinkhall! He was up against Kuwait’s Ibrahem Al-Hasan in todays Men’s Singles Table Tennis match on the back of knowing that Joanna Parker, had won her match earlier today 4 sets to 0.

Paul was off to a little bit of a shaky start but he took the first set 11-9 with a well-timed attack.

In the 2nd set he had to fight back from being 3-0 down where he battled hard to get an 8-6 lead over Al-Hassan. Paul took the 2nd set 12-10 showing great composure when not in the lead within a set. Once again Paul had to fight back from 4-1 down to get into an 8-7 lead where he then smashed some great finishing shots to win the set 11-9.

With a win in sight and only one set away, Paul really took hold on this match being 9-3 up at one point to then go on and comfortably win the set 11-4.
Some of the best play was seen on table 1 with Nigeria’s Aruna (as I promised earlier). Nigeria’s Aruna and Spain’s Machado were in battle at 1 set a piece and the rallies were long and fast. The match looked to be in Machado’s as he was in control with Aruna playing a bit sloppy at times and hitting a lot of unforced errors. The Spaniard took a 2-1 lead but not for long. The Nigerian took the 4th set 13-11 after passing up 3 match points and finally making it count on the 4th.

“And he does!! Epic 5th set, 11-8. This match has the crowd on their feet, both players are pumped!”

We were then treated to the rally of the year (possibly). Every point in the match was played as if it was the winner; Aruna was fist pumping and shouting, it seemed he count not lose at 10-6 up! And he didn’t! Although he did it the hard way, losing his shoe in the final point, yet still playing on and hitting a huge smash. WOW, what a game, keep your eyes out for the Nigerian in the next round, he will be playing Vang Bora from Turkey.

What a day we had! Check out Conor’s diary from the days event here, in his usual fashion he gives us the honest opinion on what was a memorable day for ADPP.

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