World Championships Beijing Blog #13

Sunday, September 14: It’s our last day in China and as we have no more matches to play it’s another leisurely start before we make our way to the competition hall for Will and Paul’s medal ceremony which is scheduled for 12.30. Rather bizarrely the company that has sponsored the water at the championships has suddenly decided to set up a stand in the reception area of the sports hall. Did someone in the marketing department get the dates wrong?

Some of the team including Will and Paul are already there watching the men’s class 6-7 final between Spain and Ukraine. Morales has beaten Nikolenko and Valera has beaten Popov so despite the Ukraine pair winning the doubles they are 1-2 down and Nikolenko is 0-2 against Valera. But the class 7 world number one is determined to take gold in the team having had to settle for silver in the singles and comes back with some great play to win the match 3-2 and level the tie.

The final match between Morales and Popov also goes the distance and at 9-9 in the fifth Gorazd says to Will: “If you were Morales where would you serve to Popov now?”

“Short and to his forehand,” says Will and Gorazd nods approvingly. Morales does just that and forces an error from Popov and when Popov hits an attempted winner into the net it is all over and Spain have won. The Spanish team jump to their feet and Morales falls to the floor before leaping into the arms of his coach. It’s a great win for Spain and a tough loss for Ukraine who were definitely favourites to take the gold but that’s the wonderful uncertainty of sport.

20140914_133049We all head to the warm-up hall where the tables have now been cleared away for the medal ceremony and cheer Will and Paul as they receive their well-deserved medals. It’s a nice way to end our World Championships and we are heading back to the UK tonight. There is just time for one last trip to Starbucks before we have to pack and get everyone on the bus for the airport.

Farewell from Beijing - it’s been emotional.