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Day 9 Roundup: Cowdrey wins fifth gold as China set to top medals count
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08:23, September 16, 2008

Australia's Matthew Cowdrey grabbed his fifth gold medal at the Beijing Paralympics on Monday as China built up an unassailable lead in the medal standings.

By the end of Day 9, China has won 80 gold medals, nearly twice the haul of nearest rival Britain (41). With only 45 golds at stake over the last two day's competitions, the host nation looks set to top the medals count when the Games close on Wednesday.

China's Du Jianping gestures during the awarding ceremony of men's 100m freestyle S3 of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games at the National Aquatics Center in Beijing, Sept. 7, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

In the last day of swimming events, the Australian men's 4x100m medley relay team emerged triumphant at the Water Cube, giving Cowdrey his fifth gold of the Games.

Cowdrey, who also won 100m freestyle, 200m individual medley, 100m backstroke and 50m freestyle, joined South African amputee swimmer Natalie du Toit as the most crowned Paralympian in Beijing.

Gold medalist Wang Jun of China (C), silver medalist Yang Yue of China (L) and bronze medalist Zheng Baozhu of China smile during the awarding ceremony of women's discus F42/44/46 final at the National Stadium,also known as the Bird's Nest,during the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, Sept. 15, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

"On a personal note, to come away with five gold (medals) is simply amazing," said the 20-year-old Australian.

"These events seem to be short when you get to them, but the four years in between are very long," he added.

China's Gao Fangxia(C), Xiao Yanhong(L) and Fu Hongzhi display medals on the podium during the awarding ceremony of women's team recurve-open of the archery event at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China, Sept. 15, 2008. China defeated South Korea 205-177 and won the gold medal. (Xinhua Photo)

China's Du Jianping just missed out on that elite club after taking his third and fourth gold on Monday. The 25-year-old smashed the world record to win the men's 50m backstroke S3 before helping the Chinese team to the first-place finish in 4x50m medley.

Nevertheless, Du, who also has a silver and bronze to his name, is still the most decorated Chinese athlete.

"I am very happy with my performance in this Paralympics and I am relaxed now," he said.

Chinese athletes reached the top of the podium in six track and field events on Monday as their gold-medal tally hit 34.

Wang Jun led an all-Chinese podium finish in the women's discus throw F42-46.

"It's my first gold medal and the top three are all Chinese. I am very excited about this," said Wang.

Visually impaired Li Duan needed only his first attempt jump of 6.61m to win the men's Long Jump T11, adding to his triple jump gold.

Wheelchair racer Huang Lisha, who had won women's 400m T53, struck gold in women's 200m T53 in a world record time of 29.17 seconds.

Tian Jianquan, Hu Daoliang and Zhang Chuncui were victorious in their respective wheelchair fencing events, making China 5-for-6 in the sport.

In archery, the Chinese trio of Xiao Yanhong, Fu Hongzhi and Gao Fangxia stunned their South Korean counterparts in the final of women's team recurve.

Elsewhere, China won two team events in table tennis, and Zhang Haidong and Cai Huichao added two powerlifting golds.

More than 4,000 athletes from 147 countries and regions are competing in 20 sports in five categories of disability, with a total of 472 gold medals up for grabs.

Source: Xinhua

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