BEIJING -- Host China continued its domination Thursday with three more gold medals in the athletics events of the Beijing Paralympic Games.
Four gold medals were decided in the morning session and another five were given out in the evening session of the athletics events held Thursday at the National Stadium, known as the Bird`s Nest, in north Beijing.
China`s Mi Na celebrates after she won a gold medal in the women`s shot put-F37/38 (covering ambulant athletes with different levels of cerebral palsy). [Xinhua]
The morning session saw the Chinese ruling the field with two more golds in the women`s javelin-F57/58 and the men`s discus-F35/36, while Kenyan Henry Kiprono Kirwa dishing out his country`s second Beijing Paralympics gold in the men`s 5000m-T13.
In the women`s Javelin-F57/58 (athletes in wheelchair with different levels of spinal cord injuries and amputations), China`s Qing Suping won the gold with her final attempt at 22.71 meters, earning herself 1,140 points.
Nakhumicha Zakayo of Kenya took the silver with 22.64 meters and 1,137 points, according to a multi-classification point system. Although Jeny Velazco of Mexico recorded the furthest throw at 30.57 meters, it only gave her 1,037 points, and she had to settle for a bronze.
Qing, a Paralympics debutante, called the competition a great one. She said she had been quite nervous as the event, supposed to be held on the 13th, was changed to the 11th.
"My muscle was tense and I couldn`t relax. Later on I convinced myself to relax and try my best and I didn`t expect to do so well," she said.
Qing`s compatriot Guo Wei, who already won a gold medal in the men`s javelin - F35/36, added to China`s medal tally with a gold medal in the men`s discus-F35/36 (ambulant athletes with different levels of cerebral palsy).
The 26-year-old, who said after the competiton that he had attempted to run away from his laborious sport career many times but now had fell in love with it, landed himself the gold and bettered his own F35 world record of 49.39 meters.
Guo`s teammate Wang Wengbo also set a new F36 world record of 38.98 meters and won the silver medal. In third spot was Namibia`s Reginald Benade.
In the evening session, China`s Mi Na expanded the host`s victory with a gold medal in the women`s shot put-F37/38 (covering ambulant athletes with different levels of cerebral palsy).
Mi gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about, when she set an F37 world record of 11.07 meters, for 1,080 points. The 22-year-old went further ahead and secured the gold medal, with 11.58 meters for 1,129 points, on her second throw.
Athens gold medalist Aldona Grigaliuniene of Lithuania set a F38 Paralympic record of 11.86 meters, for 1,039 points on her opening throw. She bettered this mark on her second throw and third throw to score a silver medal. Athens bronze medalist Eva Berna of Czech Republic took the bronze.
Kenyan Henry Kiprono Kirwa proved his superity when in as early as the second lap of the men`s 5000m-T13 (athletes with different levels of visual impairment), he broke away from the rest and kept going, steadily increasing the distance between him and his chasers.
At the last 50-meter mark, Kirwa lapped the last runner Vedran Lozanov of Croatia and took the gold in 14:24.02 minutes, a new world record, bettering the previous record by 22 second. The 35-year-old Kenyan knelt down after knowing the gold medal was his.
"I can benefit from the gold because when I get back to my country, my country gives me money and I can use the money to do some business and farming. I can use the money to help other families in Kenya," he said, adding he was expecting another gold medal in the men`s 10,000 meters on Sunday.
In the women`s 200m-T52 (athletes in wheelchair with different levels of spinal cord injuries and amputations), Michelle Stilwell of Canada pocketed the gold in 36.18 seconds, a new Paralympic record. Coming in second was Yamaki Tomomi of Japan, followed by Athens silver medalist Pia Schmid of Switzerland.
In the men`s discus throw - F32/51 (wheelchair athletes with cerebral palsy or spinal cord injuries and amputations), Mourad Idoudi of Tunisia scored a F32 world record of 19.72 meters to take the gold. Joze Flere of Slovenia won the silver and Martin Zvolanek of Czech Republic took the bronze.
The gold medal for the men`s 400 meters - T53 went to Suk-Man HONG of South Korea, Prawat Wahoram of Thailand crowned in the men`s 5000 meters - T54. Jeremy Campbell of the United States won the gold for men`s Pentathlon - P44