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Medals continue to pour in for SA Paralympic Team

by BuaNews Online
on 11 Sep 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

Medals have continued to pour in for the South African Paralympic Team as the 2008 Beijing Paralympics enters its sixth day.

On Wednesday Equestrian jumper Phillipa Johnson won her second gold medal, long jumper David Roos took sliver and Fanie Lombard claimed bronze in the men's shot put F42 final.

Johnson from South Africa successfully climbed to the top of the prize-giving podium by scoring high marks of 77.272 in the Individual Freestyle Test (Grade IV) of Equestrian Events on Wednesday.

While Norwegian rider Ann Cathrin Lubbe, scored 75.046, and Georgia Bruce, 74.319, won silver and bronze.

This was a repeat of the ranking results of the Grade II Individual Championship Test on Monday night where Johnson scooped her first gold medal, finishing on 69.290 percentage points at the Shatin Equestrian Venue.

"I wish to thank everyone at home. It's made history for South Africa and South Africans can now hold their own in the Equestrian Paralympics," said Johnson with excitement after receiving her second gold medal.

"I just love this horse. He dug deep and pulled out all the stops for me. It's fantastic," said the gold medalist who highly praised her horse's performance during the course.

In the Paralympic Equestrian Events, riders' functional abilities are classified into one of four grades. Grade I riders have a higher degree of disability than Grade IV riders.

Riders graded I or II are required to ride walk only or walk and trot movements, while Grade III and IV riders perform tests that also include canter and some lateral work.

Following, Johnson's victory, South Africa's David Roos claimed the silver medal at the men's long jump F46 on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, South Africa's Fanie Lombard won bronze at the men's shot put F42 final, with a result of 13.87 metres.

On Tuesday South African swimmer Kevin Paul and Oscar Pistorius both won gold medals.

Pistorius, known as "Blade Runner", crossed the finish line of the men's 100m final with a time of 11.17 seconds.

Earlier in the week swimmers Natalie du Toit and Charl Bouwer and javelin thrower Nicholas Newman earned four medals between them.

Du Toit broke two world records for the women's 100m butterfly on Sunday and the 100m freestyle on Monday, earning herself two gold medals.

She completed 100m butterfly with 1 minute 06.74 seconds and the 100m freestyle with 1 min 01.44 seconds.

Following Du Toit's victory, Bouwer set a new world record and won the gold medal in the men's 400m freestyle with 4 min 14.02 seconds on Monday night.

In the men's javelin on Monday night, Newman claimed the bronze medal for South Africa. Guo Wei from China took gold setting a new world record of 56.07m, while Piotrowski Pawei of Poland won the silver. - BuaNews

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