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Bird's Nest witnesses 26 Paralympic golds in heavy shower
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08:38, September 17, 2008

The ninth competition day of athletics at the Beijing Paralympic Games started in a haze on Tuesday when a total of 26 gold medals were decided despite of a heavy shower in the evening at the National Stadium known as the Bird's Nest.

The greatest achievement fulfilled in the day would be probably deserved by Canada's Chantal Petitclerc who wrapped up her Paralympics career with her fifth Gold in Beijing.

It took the Canadian a while in women's 1,500m T54, but on the last lap, she rallied from behind five opponents and won the race, raising her arms in victory as far as 10 meters before the finish line. She finished in 3 minutes and 39.88 seconds. Edith Hunkerler of Switzerland, who will run the marathon on Wednesday morning, took the bronze with 3:41.03.

South Africa's "blade runner" Oscar Pistorius earned his third gold by winning men's 400m T44, the last final of the day. The Paralympian who had to compete in T44 division also set a new world record of T43 with 47.49 seconds.

In exactly the same medal standing as the 200m event, Jim Bob Bizzell of the USA won the silver and set the T44 world record with 50.98 while British Ian Jones best received the bronze with 51.69.

A combination of men's 4x100m relay T11-T13 sprinters from the host (different levels of visual impairment) stirred up the fully packed stadium when they set a world record in 42.75 seconds to win the gold medal.

Consisted of Liu Xiangkun, Li Qiang, Yang Yuqing and Li Yansong, the Chinese quartet had qualified fastest for the final and created an ex-record of 42.80 seconds.

The gold medals had been distributed widely among the participating countries and regions on Tuesday in which all events except the marathon races of various classifications were finished.

A heavy shower poured into the stadium when the evening session was going on, making the spectators giving more applause to the competitors of women's 100m T13 who had been all wet after the sprint.

However, two false starts and the heavy rain did not faze Morocco's Sanaa Benhama as she won her third gold of the tournament and set a new Paralympic record with 12.28 seconds. South Africa's Ilse Hayes, the gold medallist in the long jump T13, finished the race in 12.45 to take the silver while Greece's Alexandra Dimoglou won the bronze.

In the field events, Nigeria's Eucharia Njideka Iyiazi won her second gold of the competition by defeating the opponents in women's discus F57/58 with her throw of 35.21 meters. Spanish David Casinos may not have bettered his F11 world record but his second attempt of 14.50 meters was enough for the gold in men's shot put F11/12.

In men's long jump F42/44 (ambulant athletes with amputations and other disabilities, including les Autres), German Wojtek Czyz opened his first attempt with an F42 world record of 6.50 meters to win the gold medal.

Source: Xinhua

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