Australia’s Jacqueline Freney on Monday won her fifth gold of the Games in the stand-out performance of the day, after a row involving sprinter Oscar Pistorius overshadowed the sporting action.
World-record holder Freney, who has cerebral palsy, took gold in a new Paralympic best of 1 minute, 9.39 seconds in the S7 100m freestyle to add to her titles in the S7 50m butterfly, S7 100m backstroke and SM7 200m individual medley.
Then with teammates Ellie Cole, Madison Elliott and Katherine Downey, the 20-year-old added the women’s 4x100m freestyle 34 points relay, making it a clean sweep for the Aussies after the men’s team triumphed on Sunday.
“It’s absolutely incredible, I can’t explain how happy I am,” Freney said.
“I’ve got eight events and my main one hasn’t even started yet, so these are just bonuses to me. Icing on the cake,” she added.
Meanwhile, two-time gold medalist Lin Tzu-hui of Taiwan won a bronze medal in the women’s 75kg powerlifting event on Monday.
Lin lifted 137kg in her first attempt, but failed to make the 141kg and 143kg lifts.
Fu Taoying of China won the gold medal with a 146kg lift, while Nigerian Folashade Oluwafemiayo also had a 146kg best, but took silver because she weighed more than Fu.
Lin, 30, expressed disappointment in her performance, saying she felt more pressured to win this year and that her competitors were apparently better than those at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
However, she said she is already looking ahead to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“I have no right to feel dejected. I’ll put in all my efforts into preparing for the 2016 Brazil Paralympics. I will not be absent,” said Lin, who won gold at the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics.
Also on Monday, Tseng Lung-hui snagged a bronze for Taiwan in the men’s individual recurve W1/W2 archery event, after defeating Iran’s Ebrahim Ranjbarkivaj 7-3.
Earlier, Britain’s swim queen Ellie Simmonds won the women’s S6 200m individual medley in 3 minutes, 5.39 seconds, breaking the world record she set in qualifying and adding to her S6 400m freestyle title.
The teenager, who has a form of dwarfism, won the 400m and the 100m freestyle in Beijing four years ago at the age of just 13 and has become one of the faces of the London Games.
Poland’s Natalia Partyka — one of only two Paralympians to compete at this year’s Olympics — won gold for the third consecutive Games in the women’s singles Class 10 table tennis.
Partyka, who was born without a right hand and forearm, beat China’s Yang Qian 3-2, just weeks after she and Pistorius competed at the Olympics.
Pistorius dominated the headlines on Monday after he sensationally lost his T44 200m crown to Brazil’s Alan Oliveira on Sunday, but then claimed the length of his rivals’ artificial running blades was unfair.
Pistorius will face no disciplinary action over his outburst, Paralympics organizers said yesterday.
“There will be no disciplinary action against Oscar for his comments,” International Paralympic Committee director of communications Craig Spence told reporters yesterday.
Pistorius apologized for the timing of his comments in a statement on Monday, but maintained there was still a fundamental issue about the length of athletes’ prosthetics that needed to be addressed.
On the track on Monday, El Amin Chentouf of Morocco smashed the world best by more than 30 seconds in the T12 5,000m for visually impaired and blind athletes, finishing in 13:53.77.