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Host ends on high note in swimming meet

Cheered on by thousands of home fans, Team China snatched the final gold medal of the Paralympic swimming meet in the men`s 20pts 450m medley relay last night.

Extending the lead in the last leg, last swimmer Yang Yuanrun touched in for a record-setting time of 2 min 33.15 sec, more than 6 sec ahead of Brazil.

"I got rid of all the pressure and swam my best," said Yang. "For me, this team gold is more valuable than the individual ones."

Du Jiangping and Xu Qing, who swam the first and third legs, also won gold in their respective individual events - men`s 50m backstroke S3 and 50m freestyle S6 - with world record-breaking performances.

"I was really nervous before the race, because I thought it was my mission to secure the gold in my strong event," Du said. "Now I am happy I did it."

In another event, Australia beat China to defend its Paralympic title in the men`s 34pts 4100m medley.

Another swimming powerhouse, Ukraine, took bronze.

The last day of competition at the Water Cub saw 17 gold divided among 13 countries. China and Ukraine were dominant with three each.

Ukrainian Oleksii Fedyna defeated defending Paralympic champion Charalampos Taiganidis of Greece to win the men`s 50m freestyle S13 in a world record time of 23.75 sec.

"I would like to use the word `super` to describe my performance today," he said after securing his fifth medal of the Games.

His compatriots, Ganna Ielisavetska and Dmytro Kryzhanovskyy, grabbed gold in the women`s 50m backstroke S2 and men`s 50m freestyle S5.

The swimming competition saw 141 gold medals awarded and more than 100 world records bettered.

China led in the overall swimming medal tally with 52 followed by the United Stated with 44.

Date:2008-9-16 10:37:00     
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