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Day 6: China crosses 100 mark in Paralympic Games

Swedish shooting legend Jonas Jacobsson clinched his third gold medal at the Beijing Paralympics and 16th from eight Games Friday as Natalie du Toit of South Africa made it 4-for-4 to keep alive her hopes of winning five gold.

Sweden`s Jonas Jacobsson shoots during the final for the mixed R-6 50 mm free rifle Prone SH1 shooting competition at the Paralympic Games in Beijing Friday, Sept. 12, 2008. Jacobson won the gold medal. [Agencies] 

Although China grabbed only four gold medals on Day 6, the second lowest in any single day since the opening of the Games, it surpassed the 100-medal mark. The Chinese topped the overall medal standings with 37 gold, 42 silver and 30 bronze.

Britain, boosted by a haul of six gold in road cycling, swimming and boccia, closed in with 33-20-16. The United States was a distant third with 23-16-17.

Jacobsson scored a modest 695.8 points in the mixed 50m free rifle prone SH1, nearly seven points short of his own world record, but it was good enough to put him atop the podium again following victories in 50m free rifle 3x40 SH1 and 10m air rifle standing SH1 events.

The 43-year-old veteran downplayed the magnitude of his achievement, saying: "I just do as much as I can."

But his coach, Anders Sundell, was full of praise

"He`s super. He`s probably the best disabled shooter in the world," said Sundell.

"He knows more about shooting than most people. He came here to take part in four events and got three medals. It is amazing."

In Athens 2004, Jacobsson snatched four gold medals, breaking eight world and Paralympic records and equaling four.

Du Toit, who has already won the 100m butterfly, 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley, smashed her own world record to win the 400m freestyle in 4 min 23.81 sec (See next page).

South Africa`s Natalie Du Toit shows her gold medal after winning in the women`s 400m freestyle S9 swimming finals at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games September 12, 2008. [Agencies]

"It was a good race. I gave it everything," said du Toit, who is gunning for one more win - 50m freestyle - to equal her gold tally at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens.

The first female amputee to compete in the Olympics, du Toit finished 16th among 25 competitors in the 10km open-water swim last month at the Beijing Games.

She is one of only two Paralympians who also took part in the Beijing Olympics, the other being Polish table tennis player Natalia Partyka.

At the Bird`s Nest, visually-impaired Li Duan opened the gold account for China as the 30-year-old managed a world record-breaking jump of 13.71m to retain his crown in the men`s triple jump in F11 (See Page 6). The previous world mark of 13.47m was set by Jose Rodriguez of Spain in 1998.

His compatriots Gao Mingjie and Huang Lisha followed suit, breaking world records in men`s javelin throw F42-44 and women`s 100m T53 en route to taking gold .

At the Water Cube, Xie Qing, who has been blind since birth, added a fourth gold for China with a triumph in the women`s 100m freestyle S11 event .

"I`m very excited. Winning the gold is truly a difficult task," said the 20-year-old Xie.

Meanwhile, Britain`s cycling success switched from the track to the road as Rachel Morris, David Stone and Sarah Storey added three gold to the team`s medal tally.

Spain equaled Britain`s victories at the Laoshan Velodrome, where cyclists from the United States and Germany claimed two gold apiece.

The 2012 host stormed to a golden double in the pool with Sam Hynd in men`s 400m freestyle S8 and Liz Johnson in the women`s 100m breaststroke SB6.

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

Date:2008-9-13 10:47:00     
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