Day 8 a Slew of Medals including Gold in Golf

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.

Team USA Track and Field had a fabulous day today with Janna Vander Meulen erasing her 4 years of ordeal losing in the 100m hurdles in 2013 Sofia by .006 by grabbing the Gold with a time of 14.29!

Nick Jones and Taylor Koss both controlled the 200m qualifying session, advancing to the Semi Final which plays tomorrow.  Gareth Ashton gave it all he had with a time of 23.5 and secured an advancement to the Semi Final. MaKenzie Hageman advanced to the Semi Final as well.
Alex Weis and Jacob Hockman placed 5th and 6th, respectively, in the Men’s Discus Qualifiers. The Finals will play tomorrow.
The Men’s 400m race proved tough. However, Delvin Furlough continued his mastery by coasting to the finish line with a time of 49.44! He will go to the Finals tomorrow.  Newcomer Brady Perry gave all his best and with a personal best time of 50.0, failed to advance.  He will run in the 4 x 400 relay.
Shellane McKitty broke the 60 seconds in the Women’s 400m by putting up her personal best time of 59.11. She has a good chance of surprising everyone during the Women’s 400m Finals tomorrow.
Nicola Stein and Jaida Scott tried their best in the 400m which prepares them for the 4 x 400m.
Team USA Track & Field events for tomorrow:
Men’s Discus Final
Men’s  200m Semi Final
Women’s 200m Semi Final
Men’s 400m Final
Women’s 400m Final
Team USA Men’s Volleyball  experienced a new side of Samsun as they played in a different  venue this afternoon, Wednesday, July 26th.  The match took place at Hasen Dogan Sports Hall, the arena where the US Women have been playing.   The Americans met Italy in their first semi-final match to determine the 5th-8th places in the 23rd Deaflympics Summer Games.
The men came to the floor fired up with a few changes to their line up.  Superior team blocking, along with excellent setting by Corey Behm, enabled the US to take an early lead.  Italy came back, but the US was victorious with a win of 25-23.
Though the US men began the second set playing well, Italy was able to pull ahead.  They continued to dominate play, despite the best efforts of the American men, which included excellent hitting by Mike Bruning.  Italy took the set 25-19.
Both teams were hungry for a win in the third set.  The score stayed within a point or two at the beginning, but Italy overtook the US with consistent, solid playing.  Italy won 25-15.
Italy began the fourth set determined to take the win.  They came out strong and did not let up.  The American men were unable to stop them and Italy won the set and match, 25-14.
It is hard to believe the games are coming to an end.  It feels like the amazing excitement of the Opening Ceremonies took place just yesterday.   The men will play their final Deaflympic match tomorrow against Japan, returning to Mustafa Dagistanli Sports Hall at 11:00 a.m. in a battle to decide the 7th and 8th place winners.  It will be one last day for some great American volleyball!

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.