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China continues to dominate Paralympics

Latest update : 2008-09-17

China continued its Paralympics success in the track and field events Monday, notching its 31st gold in athletics ahead of the last night of swimming competition.

China continued its domination of the Paralympics track and field events Monday, notching its 31st gold in athletics ahead of the last night of swimming competition.

The host nation stood on 69 golds Monday afternoon, with 169 medals in total, and has now passed its haul of 63 titles in Athens.

With 11 more medals up for grabs in the evening session, six world records were set in seven finals during the morning at the "Bird's Nest" National Stadium, with China winning the women's discus and two other golds.

Canadian wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc -- chasing a fifth gold in these Games -- qualified for the 1,500 metres final in her class as she bids to add to her 100m, 200m and 400m and 800m titles.

Seventeen medals were on offer in the pool, where events have been dominated by South Africa's Natalie du Toit, with five medals.

Du Toit, who finished 16th in the Olympic 10 kilometre marathon swim last month, pledged Monday to aim for more Olympic and Paralympic glory.

"Having the dream just to get to the Olympic Games and having that one accomplished, I think 2012 is definitely on the cards to do better and better," she said.

Du Toit, who also won five golds and a silver in Athens, is aiming to qualify for the 800m freestyle in the pool at the London Olympics as well as the 10km, where she is hoping for a top 10 or top five placing.

She also vowed to go for seven golds at the London Paralympics, adding the 100m backstroke and 100m breaststroke to her programme.

The South African amputee is one of only two athletes to compete at both Beijing Games, along with Polish teenager Natalia Partyka.

Partyka won table tennis gold in her class last week but failed to inspire Poland to victory in the gold medal match of the team competition against China, who have won nine golds in the sport here.

With Britain languishing behind China on 41 gold medals and 90 overall, the home nation appears certain to top the medals charts.

China's celebration of disabled sport involving more than 4,000 competitors has been clouded by controversies over drugs and classification problems.

On Sunday Britain's Rebecca Chin was stripped of second place over a classifying issue in the women's discus, leading to a call from British chef de mission Phil Lane for more opportunities to classify athletes outside of major competitions.

It followed the banning of Irish athlete Derek Malone from the Paralympics because authorities had deemed him not disabled enough.

Meanwhile, the Paralympics have not been free of the scourge of drugs, with four athletes, including three powerlifters, kicked out for doping offences.

A total of 888 doping tests had been carried out both in and out of competition by the end of Sunday.

At the Athens Games, 680 doping tests were conducted, resulting in 10 violations.

And on Saturday the Iranian wheelchair basketball team forfeited their quarter-final clash with the United States, saying they were unhappy with the draw and schedule for the later rounds.
 

Date created : 2008-09-15

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