The final event for the Deaflympics’ Golf had everyone on the course tittering.
Team USA’s Kaylin Yost fought hard to catch up from being down three on the 6th hole with two bogies but she was able to pick up with two straight birdies on the 7th and 8th holes that had her just one down behind the leader, Dagar from India.
Then on the 9th hole, Dagar, who gambled to get on the green with her 2nd shot, ended up in the fescue tall grass on the right which cost her a stroke. Both ladies were even at the start of the 10th hole. It was a see-saw battle where Dagar and Yost both made birdies or missed shots. On the 18th hole, both ladies got on the green on the third shot. Dagar was about 25 feet from the hole while Yost was just 8 feet. Yost made a birdie while Dagar got a par. That led to a playoff which took place back at the 1st hole. Both women made straight shots. Dagar got her ball on the green but the contour on the 1st hole was difficult to maintain. Yost’s ball veered a bit off the green straight to the pin. Both women made very short putts. Dagar missed while Yost’s ball rolled slowly and landed in, which earned her Gold overall. This is her first Deaflympics and her first Gold! Congratulations, Kaylin Yost.
For Bronze in the Women’s division, Andre Hjellegjerde of Norway won on the 17th hole with 3 and 1 over Gonzalez of Germany. This is very impressive as she is only 12 years old and has a lot of potential to return for future international competitions.
Paul Waring birdied on the last three holes and tied Allen John on the 18th, which forced a playoff on the 19th hole where Paul bogeyed to Allen’s par. It was a Gold for Allen John of Germany in the Men’s division. Steven Cafferty of Great Britain won over Nielsen of Denmark on the 19th for the Bronze.
Overall, the Deaflympic Golf events were very successful thanks to the support of the Turkish Golf Federation who did most of the organization with acting Technical Director Don Conway of Ireland. Both the golfers and the fans were impressed how well organized and impressive the facilities were. The Turkish Golf Federation is committed to training more Deaf and Hard of Hearing golfers. Turkey is new to golf and expects to grow in the next 10 years.
Team USA Swimming pulled in a Silver and a Bronze medal for the final day of events. Matthew Klotz came in second in the 50 Freestyle to nab his second Silver medal of the Games. Emily Massengale came in third in the 200 Backstroke with a personal best time to score her second Bronze medal.
Impressively, both were suffering from illnesses, but were able to hold up long enough to win medals. Congratulations Matthew and Emily!
Every swimmer on Team USA performed well and accomplished personal bests in every event. This was a young team which will lead to a stronger team for future international competitions. We hope to see them all return for the 2021 Summer Deaflympics.
The Semifinals of the Women’s Volleyball of the 2017 Deaflympics in Samsun matched up USA vs. Italy. The US defeated Turkey in their quarterfinal 3-0 and Italy defeated Poland 3-0 in theirs. Italy and the US had not matched up since the 2013 Deaflympics.
The first set was a tough battle for both teams and set the tone for the match. Italy’s offense and defense executed very well, giving them a lead towards the end of the set. However, the US was able to recover and come back to take the first set, closed off by a service ace from Abby Garrity.
The second set was again a back and forth battle. The US made several uncharacteristic errors and the Italians aggressive serving and solid blocking put them in a lead for most of the game. The US retook the lead again at the very end of the set with a serving run from Adele Daniels, but two late service errors combined with Italy’s aggressive play put the Italian team ahead. They ended up winning the set 29-27 and evening the match at 1-1.
The third set showed a strong early performance from the US team. They looked to be dominating, leading 21-15. However the Italian team played a phenomenal defense and served aggressively to shift the momentum and claw their way back to win 26-24.
The fourth and final set started with the Italian team taking a huge lead with tremendous defense and high energy play. At the first official timeout, they led 8-1. At one point in the game, their lead was more than 10. The US started to close the gap with an incredible service run from Ann Whited but it was too little too late. The Italian team took the match, winning the final set 25-20.
The US team now faces Ukraine on Friday at 1 PM in the Bronze medal match.