Day Three continued the excitement of the Paralympics, as records tumbled, and medals were awarded in seven sports today. China continued to dominate the medal tally, and have taken a commanding lead in the first few days.
Aussie cyclists keep it going
Amanda Reid won gold, and did it in style in the Women’s 500m C1-3 Time Trial. Her time of 38.487 was a new world record, at an average speed of 46.769km/h. She took gold ahead of Alyda Norbrius (NED) and Qian Wangwei (CHN).
Alistair O’Donohue took silver for Australia, in the Men’s C5 4000m Individual Pursuit. He rode a blistering final lap and a half to be one of five riders who finished under the old world record. He came up short in the gold medal race against Dorian Foulon (FRA), while Yehor Dementyav (UKR) won the bronze medal race.
Gordon Allan set a C2 World Record in the Men’s C1-3 1000m Time Trial. While it wasn’t a record that lasted, and with weighted C1 world records also obliterated, Allan missed the medals, but held his head high. Zhangyu Li (CHN) took gold ahead of Alexandre Leaute (FRA) and Jace Van Gass (GBR).
The Aussies went down to Japan 57-53. Ryley Batt was immense in defeat, with 30 tries and two steals, but it was not enough, as Daisuke Ikezai led Japan to victory with 24 points.
Despite being three goals down at three quarter time, the Aussies never gave up. The Aussies went down by five with a few minutes left in the last quarter, but were unable to get back into the match before full time.
It is the Aussies second loss of the campaign, and have a lower points differential than France, but have somehow progressed through to the semi finals, where they will meet Great Britain.
With the head to head battle unable to split Australia, Denmark and France, the Australians have secured qualification through to the semi finals, and the chance at a medal.
The Australian Rollers have rolled into some hot form in the Men’s Wheelchair Basketball. After opening their tournament with an 81-39 domination of Iran, the Rollers actually improved both their goal difference and their average score, with an 83-37 win over Algeria.
Bill Latham top-scored for the Australians with 16 points, and Michael Auprince chipped in 13 of his own to add on. Latham also had 10 rebounds to lead the team, while John McPhail had 13 assists to go with four points.
It was a comprehensive display by the Australians who led by 12 at the first break, and 25 at half time. The Algerians put up a sterner test in the third quarter, only losing the period by six points, before the Australians found their gear again to take the final quarter out by 15 points.
The Rollers will face Germany, the USA and Great Britain in the remaining group stage matches.
Jesse Aungles finished fourth in the Men’s S8 100m backstroke. Despite a slow start, Aungles closed hard, but was unable to Robert Griswold (USA), Inigo Llopis Sanz (ESP) and Liu Fengqui (CHN) who took out the medals.
Ruby Storm finished seventh in the Women’s S14 200m Freestyle. Aged just 17, it’s a strong debut for the young Aussie, who has a bright future ahead. Unfortunately for her, she came across some of the strongest swimmers of the Games, as Valeriia Shabalina (RPC) took gold ahead of British duo Bethany Firth and Jessica-Jane Applegate.
In the Women’s 200m SM7 Individual Medley, Tiffany Thomas-Kane (AUS) was touched out for silver, in a dramatic finish to the race. She came in just behind Mallory Weggemann (USA) who took gold and Ahalya Lettenberger (USA) who took silver). Kane was just fingertips away from a silver or even gold, but had a terrific race to take a medal.
China produced the first sweep of the Paralympics, with Zheng Tao taking gold in the Men’s S5 50m Butterfly. Countrymen Wang Li Chan and Yuan Wei Yi took silver and bronze respectively, as China closed out the podium.
China was able to also complete the double, as Lu Dong took gold in the Women’s S5 50m Butterfly. Her time was the fastest in history, as she was the first female S5 swimmer to break the 40 second barrier.
Perhaps more impressive was silver medalist Marta Fernandez Infante (ESP), who is actually an S4 swimmer, and swam fast enough to be the second-fastest S5 swimmer of all time, despite being an S4 swimmer. Her incredible feat gave her silver, almost three seconds ahead of Cheng Jiao (CHN) who won bronze.
Braedan Jason finished fourth in the Men’s 400m S13 Freestyle. He was a couple of seconds behind Alex Portal (FRA), who took bronze in the event. Ihar Boki (BLR) took gold ahead of Kyrylo Garashchenko (UKR) who finished just under four seconds behind for silver.
The Women’s S13 400m Freestyle was won by Anna Stetsenko (UKR) ahead of Italy’s Carlotta Gilli. The two were clearly the fastest swimmers, more than ten seconds ahead of young Aussie Katja Dedekind, who finished bronze in her second Paralympics, despite being just 20 years of age.
It’s Dededink’s second bronze medal of the Games, and she has one more event remaining on the program, in the Women’s S13 50m Freestyle.
Isis Holt was the star of the show as far as Australia was concerned at the track today. Holt set a Paralympic Record in her heat of the Women’s T35 100m. Her time of 13.49 stood as a Paralympic Record for 2 hours and 38 minutes, when Holt broke her records again, finishing the final in 13.13, which was a Personal Best, and a new World Record.
The only problem for Holt, was that China’s Xia Zhou had run the event in 13.00, also setting a new World Record and Paralympic Record, and taking the gold medal. Maria Lyle (GBR) came in third, a little over a second behind Holt to take bronze.
Sam McIntosh also had a season’s best time, with his effort of 1.07.97 in the heat of the Men’s T51 400m. It wasn’t enough for him to progress to the final, but a season’s best performance nonetheless.
The Men’s F38 Standing Javelin had two Aussies competing, including pre-Paralympics World Record Holder Corey Anderson, and Jayden Sawyer. While Anderson was able to throw for a season’s best of 54.48m, it was not enough for a medal.
Colombia’s Jose Gregorio Lemos Rivas took gold with a new World Record and Paralympic Record of 60.31, ahead of Vladyslav Bilyi (UKR) and Lemos Rivas’ countryman Luis Fernando Lucumi Villegas, who took bronze.
In the Women’s T47 400m, Alissa Jordaan produced a new Australian record, at just 18 years of age. Her time of 1:00.78 was good enough for fourth in the heat, which will not put her through to the final, but it was a showing of how much talent she has ahead of Paris 2024.
Australia was blown out by China 6-0 in their goalball match today. Cao Zhen Hua broke the early deadlock, troubling the scorers, before coming back in the second half to double her tally.
Zhang Xi Ling decided to break the game open in the second half, with three goals in seven minutes, as China piled on five scores in a period of nine minutes late in the match.
Chen Feng Qing made sure that all three of the Chinese players to play on the court found their way onto the scoreboard, while Australia conceded a goal for each of the six players used.
Australia’s next game will open Day 4 against Canada, where they will go in as significant underdogs.
China dominated in the Powerlifting on day three, winning gold in all but one event. Qi Yongkai started the day strong in the Men’s -59kg final with a best lift of 187kg.
Eygpt’s Sherif Osman also had a best lift of 187kg but due to Qi’s lower bodyweight won the silver medal, whilst El Salvador’s Herbert Aceituno took home bronze with a best lift of 184kg.
Hu Dandan was the second gold for China for the day with a best lift of 120kg in the Women’s -50kg final, however, it was the silver medalist Rehab Ahmed who was written into the history books for breaking the Paralympic Record but much like her countryman Osman settled for silver due to her bodyweight. Great Britain’s Olivia Broome was the bronze medalist lifting 107kg.
The only gold medalist for the day in the powerlifting not from China was the Ukraine’s Mariana Shevchuk in the women’s -55kg final who had a best lift of 125kg, close behind her with best lifts of 124kg silver medalist Xiao Cuijuan from China and Besra Duman from Turkey.
The final gold medal on offer for the day was the Men’s -65kg which was won by China’s Liu Lei with a massive lift of 198kg, Iran’s Amir Jafari Arangeh took out silver with a lift of 195kg and Algeria’s Hocine Bettir’s lift of 192kg earned him the bronze medal with a best lift 26kg better than fourth-placed Grzegorz Lanzer from Poland.
Wheelchair fencing crowded its medalists today for the Men’s and Women’s Epee Team events with the RPC and China winning medals on each side of the draw.
On the Men’s side, bronze went to Great Britain who fought hard to deliver a 45-38 point win over Ukraine. Great Britain’s only loss came in the semi-final, otherwise was undefeated through the preliminaries.
The gold medal was awarded to the RPC, who, after a first-up loss to an undefeated China, made up for the result with a 45-39 point display to claim gold against the aforementioned team.
For the Women, RPC had a big win over Hong Kong however it was the Women’s Gold Medal Match that provided the most unlikely, and lopsided matchup. The Ukrainian team, undefeated through the preliminaries and semi-final was on the other end of a smashing at the hands of China – a one-point loss against its gold medal opponent its only loss of the tournament – Ukraine going down 40-17.
Trevor Hirth was the first Australian up on day three in the table tennis in his group stage match against Great Britain’s Paul Karabardak going down 3-0, his first game was a rocky start losing 11-5 but he made a comeback in the second winning four consecutive points despite losing 11-8, however, Karabardak finished quickly winning the third game 11-2.
Jake Ballestrino’s Paralympics came to an end against Brazil’s Israel Pereira Stroh losing in straight games, losing 11-5, 11-3, 11-6. Meanwhile, Joel Coughlan gave Lian Hao a run for his money taking the two time Paralympic Gold Medalist to five games and holding on until the end despite losing 4-11, 11-5, 11-13, 11-4, 11-7.
Ma Lin wasted no time demolishing Ukraine’s Lev Kats 3-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-7), he’ll go up against Ukraine’s Ivan Mai in the semi final at 1:20pm on Saturday and is now guaranteed a medal.
As is Samuel von Einem who came back from one game down to win his quarter final match against Spain’s Eduardo Cuesta Martinez 3-1 (8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7), he’ll go on to play Belgium’s Florian van Acker in the semi final at 2 pm on Saturday, these two met at the 2016 Paralympics in the Gold Medal Match with van Acker taking home gold.
Yang Qian was the first Australian woman to play in the table tennis on day three, convincingly beating Nigeria’s Obazuaye Faith 3-0 (11-9, 11-1, 11-3) she’ll now face fellow Australian Melissa Tapper in the quarter-finals at 10:40 am Saturday.
Rebecca Julian’s quarter final against Maliak Alieva (RPC) wasn’t what she would have hoped for after going down in a tight first game, ultimately Alieva dominated the final two games to knock the Australian out in straight games (15-13, 11-4, 11-5).
Lei Li Na might not have had a match today but she’s back at 1:20 pm on Saturday for her semi final match against Hungary’s Alexa Szvitacs.
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