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China, South Africa lead Paralympic day-6 athletic gold tally
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16:01, September 13, 2008

Paralympic host for the first time found tough opponents on Friday, the sixth day in the track and field events, when China and South Africa took three gold medals respectively.

China continued its gold haul with three more golds in the men's javelin - F42/44, the women's 100m - T53 and the men's triple jump - F11. South Africa triumphed in the men's 100m -T37, the women's long jump - F13 and the men's pentathlon - P12.

Australia and Ukraine shared the second spot on the medal table with two gold medals each. The United States, Finland, Algeria, Belarus, Canada, Tunisia, Japan and Morocco also made it to the gold medal tally, winning one gold medal each.

Li Dan, a blind athlete from the Chinese People's Liberation Army, snatched the gold medal in the men's triple jump - F11, with a new world of 13,71m, 0.24m better than the previous world record which had been unbeaten for a decade.

Li's compatriots Gao Mingjie and Huang Lisha were crowned in the men's javelin - F42/44 and the women's 100m - T53, both setting new world records.

Chinese Paralympic debutante Wu Qing, who already won two gold medals, found her three-gold dream crashed when she got off to a great start, setting an F36 Paralympic record and bettering this mark on her second throw of 9.08m. But Athens Bronze medallist Alla Malchyk of Ukraine did a better job with a throw of 9.33m and snatched the gold medal. Wu won the silver.

But Wu, who had wrapped up all her contests at the Beijing Paralympics, said she was satisfied with her gains.

"I'm satisfied with the silver, because my training focused more on Javelin rather than on shot put," she said.

"I'm still young and have room to improve myself. I will definitely participate in the Paralympics in London 2012 and win the gold back, " she added.

A crash in Monday night's final of the Women's 5000m - T54 forced organisers to reschedule the event to Friday morning. In the re-run of the event, Amanda McGregory of the United States won the gold, Diane Roy of Canada picked up the silver.

Canada's legendary wheelchair racer Chantal Retitclerc won her second gold medal in Beijing, the gold medal for the women's 400m - T54.

Before the Beijing Paralympics, the 39-year-old had already won 16 Paralympic medals over the last four Games and holds the world records for the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m in the T54 class.

"I had a good solid race. I wanted to set a world record, but it is the second best time in history and it's the closest I've been to surpassing my old record. I want to try and make sure nobody else beats my records, by beating them myself," said Retitclerc after the competition.

In the following days, the Canadian will take part in the 800m, 1500m and 4x100m relay in the T54 class.

A total of 18 athletics events were contested and 14 new world records were set on Friday.


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1 China 38 44 30 112
2 Great Britain 35 20 18 73
3 USA 23 16 18 57
4 Ukraine 16 10 18 44
5 Australia 14 18 17 49
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