Tokyo, Aug 28 | China’s Paralympic contingent continued its winning momentum to snatch 11 more gold medals on Saturday at Tokyo 2020, topping the medal ranking with a total of 77 medals including 30 gold.
China snatched three gold medals in wheelchair fencing on Saturday. Sun Gang beat Hungary’s Richard Osvath in the men’s foil individual category A final, while his teammates Feng Yanke and Gu Haiyan respectively won golds in the men’s foil individual category B and women’s foil individual category A.
“This gold medal is what I have been dreaming of for 12 years. Today I’ve finally realized my dream,” Sun said. “We’ve been competing so many times against each other [against Osvath], but I think my condition today was better. I was nervous during the match, but I managed to do it.”
China’s athletics team registered its first gold in track and field as Liu Cuiqing ran 56.25 seconds to defend her title with guide Xu Donglin in the T11 women’s 400m, breaking the Paralympic record, while Liu Li dominated the F32 men’s club throw with a world record of 45.39m.
“I’m very excited and surprised to win gold again. I would like to appreciate my country giving us the support to practise,” said Liu Cuiqing.
“At Rio 2016 we broke the world record, but it was kind of expected because we were very well prepared. This time, [winning gold] was unexpected. We were injured for around one year, and we performed better than we imagined. To win in Tokyo is a dream,” said Xu.
China’s Liu Yu dominated the SM4 women’s 150m individual medley final at the Tokyo Aquatics Center on Saturday night. The Chinese swimming team continued to sweep all medals in the S11 women’s 100m backstroke final, with Cai Liwen winning gold in a world record time of 1 minute and 13.46 seconds.
On the first gold medal day of table tennis on Saturday, China’s Feng Panfeng and Liu Jing beat their opponents 3-2 and 3-1 respectively to win gold medals in the class 3 men’s singles and class 1-2 women’s singles.
“I thought about it before the match – what a great achievement it would be to win four consecutive golds. At 2-0, I also thought about it. After that, I didn’t dare think. I was scared of losing,” Feng said on winning four successive Paralympic men’s singles golds.
Also on Saturday, Chen Minyi and Zhang Tianxin beat the Czech Republic team in the W1 mixed archery final to win China’s first gold medal in the sport, while powerlifter Tan Yujiao clinched gold in the women’s 67kg category final.
In ‘owerlifting, Mexico’s Amalia Pe’ez took her country’s first gold in Tokyo in her final 131kg-attempt on Saturday to reach her fourth consecutive Paralympic title in a nail-biting competition.
The day provided plenty of highlights as Bonnie Bunyau Gustin took Malaysia’s first-ever Para powerlifting gold in the men’s up to 72kg, China’s Tan Yujiao successfully defending her Paralympic title in the women’s up to 67kg, and Iran’s Roohallah Rostami taking his first Paralympic gold in the men’s up to 80kg.
Perez was in the lead after the second round with 126kg but dropped to fourth place before her f’nal attempt behind Egypt’s’Fatma Korany, Uzbekistan’s Ruza Kuzieva, and the three-time Paralympic champion Lucy Ejike from Nigeria.
It was all or nothing for the Mexican who raised the bar to 131kg for the title. Ejike failed in her final attempt of 135kg and had to settle for bronze (130kg) behind Kuzieva (130kg but lower body weight) who made her Paralympic debut in Japan. For Perez, the podium at Tokyo 2020 was the sixth in her career.
Ukraine ‘ules the pool
It was Ukraine’s day in the Tokyo Aquatics Centre with the country winning five of the 14 gold medals on offer on Saturday. There was also the first gold in Japan for Para-swimming icon Jessica Long from the USA, a ‘ouble world record for Canada’s Aurelie Rivard, and another podium sweep for China.
Ukraine’s team of world champion swimmers shone with teenager Mykhailo Serbin taking his first Paralympic medal in his victory in the men’s 100 backstroke S11. The 17-year-old swam beside teammate and five-time Paralympian Viktor Smyrnov, who took silver, his fourth Paralympic medal in this event.
“Viktor taught me: don’t lose your speed in the distance, and never give up in the finish,” said Serbin.
Ukraine also topped the podium with Yelyzaveta Mereshko in the women’s 100m breas’stroke SB5, Denys Dubrov in the men’s 200m individual medle’ SM8, Yevhenii Bohodaiko in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB6; and Maksym Krypak who set a new world record in the men’s 100m freestyle S10 (50.64).