Fifteen medals awarded on London Paralympics fourth night of track and field

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, September 3, 2012

London, England— Fifteen Paralympic gold medals were awarded Sunday night, the fourth night of competition at London's Olympic Park.

As runners raced around the track, a 'wall of sound' from the crowd followed them. Given the potential for confusion about Paralympic classification, commentators and video screens provided repeated explanations of relevant classifications. In the centre of the field, during the men's 400 metre heats and other finals, javelin competitors' efforts were greeted with "oohs and aahs" from the stadium whilst their throws were in-flight; a remote-controlled car was used to return javelins to the competitors. Great Britain's win in the discus final prompted the crowd to sing along to the national anthem during the medal ceremony. No other country enjoyed quite the same level of flag waving and singing during subsequent medal ceremonies.

Athletics gets under way with a javelin player warming up
Image: Laura Hale.
The car retrieves the javelins
Image: Laura Hale.
400m T12 Men Heat 1 enters the stadium
Image: Laura Hale.
400m T12 Men Heat 2 enters the stadium
Image: Laura Hale.
Officials prepare for the start of the 400m T12 Men Heat 2
Image: Laura Hale.
Spanish runners enter the field of play for the start of 400m T12 Men Heat 3
Image: Laura Hale.
Mahmoud Khaldi of Tunisia prepares for the start of the men's 400m — T12 Heat 3
Image: Laura Hale.
Scoreboard during the men's javelin F44 final showing China, Netherlands, France, Russia, India, Canada and the United States.
Image: Laura Hale.
Women's 200 m final T11 is underway
Image: Laura Hale.
First place winner Brazilian Terezinha Guilhermina and her guide Guilherme Soares de Santana across the line in the women's 200 m final T11 is underway
Image: Laura Hale.
A Great Britain athlete gets his medal for discus in an event held earlier in the Games
Image: Laura Hale.
Runners sprint towards the finish mens 200m T46
Image: Laura Hale.
Men's 100 m T36 final get off the mark
Image: Laura Hale.
Men's 100 m T36 final cross the line
Image: Laura Hale.
The men's 100 m T52 final
Image: Laura Hale.
The men's 100 m T52 final
Image: Laura Hale.
The men's 100 m T52 final
Image: Laura Hale.
Women's 100 m T12 final
Image: Laura Hale.
Women's 100 m T12 final
Image: Laura Hale.
Women's 100 m T12 final
Image: Laura Hale.
Clegg celebrates her medal
Image: Laura Hale.
Simon Patmore of Australia gets his medal from a final earlier in the day
Image: Laura Hale.
The men's 400 m T53
Image: Laura Hale.
The women's 100 m T37 starts
Image: Laura Hale.
The women's 100 m T37 is almost done
Image: Laura Hale.
Mandy Francois-Elie of France and Johanna Benson of Namibia
Image: Laura Hale.
Mandy Francois-Elie of France and Johanna Benson of Namibia
Image: Laura Hale.
The men's 100 m T54 final
Image: Laura Hale.
The men's 100 m T54 final
Image: Laura Hale.
The crowd when Great Britain's Libby as given her silver medal
Image: Laura Hale.
The men's 200 m T44 final which Oscar Pistorius ran in
Image: Laura Hale.
The men's 200 m T44 final which Oscar Pistorius ran in
Image: Laura Hale.
The men's 200 m T44 final which Oscar Pistorius ran in
Image: Laura Hale.
The men's 200 m T44 final which Oscar Pistorius ran in
Image: Laura Hale.
A discus is delivered back to an athlete
Image: Laura Hale.
French athletes sing along to the national anthem as Mandy Francois-Elie gets her gold
Image: Laura Hale.
A race towards the finish in the men's 400 m T13 event
Image: Laura Hale.
Women's 100 m T44 final
Image: Laura Hale.
Women's 100 m T44 final
Image: Laura Hale.
Women's 100 m T44 final
Image: Laura Hale.
Women's 100 m T53 final
Image: Laura Hale.
Women's 100 m T53 final
Image: Laura Hale.

Women, competing in the two blind classification finals, ran almost-exclusively with male guide runners. The entrants in the men's F11 discus competition also had guides helping position them on the field, and ensuring they threw onto the field of play.

Preceded by heats for the men's 400 metres T12 event, the first final of the night was the women's 200 metres T11, won by Brazilian Terezinha Guilhermina with her guide Guilherme Soares de Santana.

In the women's 100 metres T12 final, that Chinese competitor Guohua Zhou and her guide Jie Li finished first was of secondary importance to the home crowd, whose cheers grew louder following the announcement that Great Britain's Libby Clegg, and guide-runner Mikhail Huggins, came in second. The pair did a celebratory lap around the stadium, briefly stopping as a medal was awarded for one of the earlier events. At the end of their victory lap, Clegg hugged her coach whilst Huggins knuckle-bumped athletes standing at the edge of the stadium before being joined by Clegg for hugs from team-mates.

Whilst Katrina Hart and Jenny McLoughlin of Great Britain received the loudest cheers when announced for the women's 100 metres T37 event, Namibia's Johanna Benson was also vocally encouraged by the crowd; starting without the use of blocks, she earned a silver, finishing behind France's Mandy Francois-Elie by 15 hundredths of a second. There was a delay in announcing the bronze medallist, ultimately Neda Bahi of Tunisia, because of the closeness of the finish which came down to a hundredth of a second separating her from fourth-placed Maria Seifert of Germany. Later in the night, immediately following Oscar Pistorius's 200 metres T44 final, Francois-Elie was awarded her gold medal whilst French athletes loudly sang their national anthem.

Pistorius's race was near the end of the programme, with the announcer hyping it throughout the evening's competition. When the announcer said Pistorius had entered the field of play, the crowd screamed. As he finally stepped up to be introduced the volume increased, and cameras flashed around the stadium. Pistorius ran his race taking the silver, losing to Brazilian Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliveira by less than a tenth of a second.

Australians had a successful night, with Carlee Beattie earning a silver in the women's long jump F46 event, Kurt Fearnley earning a silver in the men's 5,000 metres T54, Angela Ballard earning a bronze in the women's 100 metres T53 event and Simon Patmore earning bronze in the men's 200 metres T46 event. Ballard, competing in her fourth Games, said following her race: "It's really good especially after how I did at Beijing. So to go home with a medal is great. Hopefully I can do more with that over the rest of the week."

Hosts Great Britain had a better night, earning a number of medals including David Weir taking gold in the men's 5,000 metres T54, Graeme Ballard silver in the men's 100 metres T36, Libby Clegg and her guide runner Mikhail Huggins winning silver in the women's 100 metres T12.

Current leader in medals China added more to their tally, including gold and silver for Lisha Huang and Honghuan Zhou in the women's 100 metres T53 event, gold in the women's 100 metres T12 for Guohua Zhou and her guide Jie Li, silver for Yang Liu in the men's 100 metres T54, a bronze taken by Juntingxian Jia and guide Donglin Xu in the women's 200 metres T11 and a bronze in the women's long jump T46 for Jingling Ouyang.

The United States picked up a few additional medals too, including a gold earned by Raymond Martin, a bronze taken by Paul Nitz in the men's 100 metres T52 event, bronze for April Holmes in the women's 100 metres T53 event and bronze for Blake Leeper in the men's 200 metres T44 event.


Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


Bookmark-new.svg