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London Paralympics: China dominates, Games unique

(Xinhua)

09:53, September 10, 2012

Team China celebrate winning gold during the awarding ceremony for the women's sitting volleyball at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in London, Britain, on Sept. 7, 2012.(xinhua)

China showed its Paralympic domination again with a new record of 95 gold, 71 silver and 65 bronze medals to top the tally for the third consecutive time at the London 2012 which concluded on Sunday.

China, who had made history in Beijing 2008 of topping the tally with 89-70-52, refreshed all its records in gold, silver, bronze and total in London 2012. China made its Paralympic debut in New York 1984 with only two titles, and first stood top of the medal table in Athens 2004 with 63-46-32.

Athletics and swimming were China's two gold mines which contributed 57 titles.

In London, Russia overtook host Britain to stand second in the last with 36-38-28. In Beijing 2008, Russia ranked eighth with 18- 23-22.

Britain, the runner-up in Beijing 2008 with 42-29-31, stood third as hosts with 34-43-43. Its gold tally even dropped from 35 taken in Athens 2004 where it finished second. But Britain's total medals reached 120, more than that of Russia.

A total of 252 world records were refreshed in the 11-day competitions.

About 4,200 athletes from 164 countries and regions attended the Paralympics.

The top gold medalist was the 20-year-old Australian swimmer Jacqueline Freney, who suffers celebral palsy. She stood on top podium of all the eight events she attended, fulfilling an incredible grand slam. She also broke three world records.

Her parents managed public swimming pools for a living and so swimming has always been a huge part of her life.

Freney was awarded an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship in May 2008, and then took three bronze medals in the Beijing Paralympic Games.

Australian swimmer Matthew Cowdrey and American swimmer Jessica Long also got eight medals but five of them were gold.

Also in pool, boasting two gold medals and a new world record, the 17-year-old British swimmer Eleanor Simmonds, only 1.23m tall, was long held the limelight in the Aquatics Center.

Simmonds had been the youngest-ever Paralympian to win two golds in Beijing 2008 when she was 13 years old. Her legend went on in London 2012. And she was one of the two British athletes extinguishing the Paralympic Flame at the closing ceremony.

China's veteran markwoman Zhang Cuiping took the first Paralympic gold in the women's R2-10m air rifle, breaking the 10- year-old world record with nine shots out of the final 10 above 10.3 points.



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