An emphatic cluster of golds and the biggest daily medal haul yet saw GB rush ahead of Australia into second place in the medal tables on day four of the Games. Some of GB’s most established stars joined a cluster of breakthrough new talents on the top of the podium to almost double the team’s gold medal total.
Although rarely the recipients of the attention enjoyed by the athletics and cycling squads, GB’s equestrian side secured four medals in the day’s events, all from female riders. Sophie Christiansen recorded a sensational individual dressage score of 82.750 in the grade Ia event, claiming the gold medal.
…experience triumphed as McGlynn secured the bronze…
Fellow riders Deborah Criddle and Sophie Wells both finished second in their events for well-deserved silver medals. Their medals, and equestrian success from earlier events, meant that GB also won the team gold medal, giving veteran Lee Pearson his tenth Paralympic gold medal in the process.
From four hooves to two wheels, Britain’s cyclists made it another day to remember – particularly with two all GB medal finals. It was a guaranteed bronze in the women’s individual B pursuit, where Beijing gold medallist Aileen McGlynn faced teammate and Paralympian debutante Lora Turnham, with their respective pilots Helen Scott and Fiona Duncan. Ultimately, experience triumphed as McGlynn secured the bronze, despite a strong performance from her teammate.
… Kappes wasn’t going to miss out a second time…
It was another all GB battle in the Men’s Individual B Sprint, with Anthony Kappes and pilot Craig Maclean facing Neal Fachie and pilot Barney Storey, husband of starlet Sarah Storey. After being denied the chance at gold in the time trial, Kappes wasn’t going to miss out a second time, storming to victory over his friend and teammate in imperious fashion.
But there was bitter disappointment for gold-hopefuls Rik Waddon, Darren Kenny and Jon-Allan Butterworth in the mixed C1-5 sprint final. Their Chinese rivals triumphed by an agonising 0.065 margin, leaving the GB team to collect silver.
An emotional Bayley hurled himself to the floor in sobs…
There were similar scenes of emotion at the table tennis, where promising GB star Will Bayley was also beaten to the gold by the significantly more experienced Jochen Wollmert. An emotional Bayley hurled himself to the floor in sobs, before being comforted by his coach and his opponent and rising to accept the cheers of the public.
The rowers could only produce one medal from their three races, after Tom Aggar finished fourth in the men’s single sculls, a shock defeat for the Beijing champion. It was world champions Pam Relph, Naomi Riches, David Smith, James Roe and cox Lily van den Broecke in the mixed coxed four LTAMix4+ who managed to top the podium and add to Britain’s gold tally.
…famed for wearing heavy duty waterproof makeup in the pool…
Back in the pool, it was another gold for another impressive female GB swimmer, as Jessica-Jane Applegate stormed home in first place in the 200m freestyle S14. The 16 year old, famed for wearing heavy duty waterproof makeup in the pool, also managed to set up a Paralympic record in the process. Britain racked up two futher medals in the Aquatics Centre, a bronze apiece for Hannah Russell and James Clegg, both in the 100m Butterfly S12 events.
There was another medal in store for the Clegg family over in the Olympic stadium, where James’ sister Libby raced her way to a silver medal in the 100m T12. There were also silvers in store for long jumper Stef Reid and 100m T36 sprinter Graeme Ballard. But the heroes of the day were most definitely Britain’s two gold medal winners, veteran wheelchair racer David Weir and charismatic discus newcomer Aled Davies.
…he hurled his way to gold with one throw…
Weir powered his way to gold in the final 200m of his 5000m T54 final, bringing his total to seven medals, three of them gold. For debutant Aled Davies, it was the dream start to his Paralympic career, as he hurled his way to gold with one throw to go before producing his best throw yet to finish the event. The Welshman then rushed to the sidelines to meet his parents, where his proud mum promptly set about wiping his brow with a handkerchief.
Controversy hit in the much anticipated 200m T44 final, when Oscar Pistorius was pipped to first by Brazil’s Alan Oliveira in the closing metres of the race, his first ever loss in the event. The South African complained after the race that the length of the Brazilian’s prosthetic legs gave him an unfair advantage, although he subsequently apologised for the timing of his comments.
…one can only assume she accepted!
A particularly touching moment stood out though, with yet another Brazilian taking the limelight. After winning the Men’s 200m T46, Yohansson Nascimento promptly unfolded a piece of paper and waved it at the camera to display a hand-written marriage proposal to his girlfriend. With such a glamorous setting and emotional proposal, one can only assume she accepted!