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Medals reallocated at Beijing Paralympics, again

BEIJING -- The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) was forced to redistribute medals at the men`s swimming competition in its second wrongly held victory ceremony during the Beijing Paralympics.

In the men`s 100m breaststroke SB5 final on Friday, Mexican swimmer Pedro Rangel had been disaqualified after the final and Thomas Grimm of Germany collected the gold in the medal ceremony.

Mexico`s Pedro Rangel shows his gold medal in the men`s 100M breaststroke SB5 finals at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games September 12, 2008. [Agencies] 

But an appeal by the Mexicans was accepted. Rangle was reinstated his first place and received his gold medal in the second victory ceremony for the event late on.

"The Mexican delegation lodged a protest within the 30 minutes time period after the results being announced. The protest was accepted by the chief referee appointed by the IPC`s swimming administration," said the IPC in a statement released on Saturday.

"However, the victory ceremony for this event was scheduled three minutes before the decision to reinstate Pedro Rangel as the gold medallist was made and communicated to Mexican Paralympic Committee," explained the IPC.

"Unfortunately, due to a mistake by the swimming officials, the medal ceremony was held in spite of the protest being lodged. The timing of this process affected communication links and the ability to halt a victory ceremony that was already in progress," it said.

The swimming officials acknowledged the error, which was corrected and measures have been taken to ensure that it does not occur again. Results were corrected so as to recognise Rangle in first place and Grimm and Tadhg Slattery of South Africa in second and third places respectively.

It has been the second time that a victory ceremony was held before correction was made later on.

On Monday, the crash of athletes` wheelchairs in women`s 5,000m T-54 race led to six out of 11 runners unable to finish the race and three athletes injured.

Canada`s Diane Roy celebrates winning the final of the women`s 5000m T54 at the National Stadium, also known as the Bird`s Nest, during the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games September 8, 2008. [Agencies]


Canada`s Diane Roy finished first, followed by Britain`s Shelly Woods and the United States` Amanda Mcgrory, and they received their respective medals in the original ceremony.

But the result of the event was later withdrawn and the IPC`s Jury of Appeal ordered a re-run of the race on September 12.  Switzerland`s Hunkeler Edith was disqualified. Awarded athletes were asked to return their medals.

The IPC explained that the confusion was resulted from lack of communication between the technical information department and the ceremony department.

After the re-race, McGrogry won the gold, Roy picked up the silver and Woods finished third.

Date:2008-9-13 14:03:00     
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