Australia won a dramatic quad doubles final on Tuesday, staging a comeback to secure the first wheelchair tennis gold on another dramatic day of Paralympics action at Rio 2016.
Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson’s 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Nick Taylor and David Wagner ended the Americans’ chances of a fourth successive gold medal in the doubles.
Alcott also secured the honour of becoming a two-sport gold medallist – he was a member of Australia’s victorious wheelchair basketball team in Beijing in 2008.
Alcott said the victory, which was secured in 2hrs 45mins, was testimony to the special comradery that exists between him and his partner.
On a busy day at the Olympic Tennis Centre, history was also made when the longest match in wheelchair tennis history. Great Britain eventually overcame Israel in a gruelling 4hr 25min 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(2), played in some of the hottest temperatures of the Paralympics so far, to secure the quad doubles bronze medal.
In the day’s athletics action, Kenya’s visually-impaired Para athlete Samwel Kimani and Thailand’s wheelchair racer Prawat Wahoram both completed the distance double, adding 1,500m gold to the 5,000m titles they have already won at Rio 2016.
Kimani won the men’s 1,500m T11, seeing off the challenge of Brazil’s multiple world champion Odair Santos. And Wahoram won a close men’s 1,500m T54, improving on the silver medal he won four years ago as he crossed the line just ahead of Switzerland’s Marcel Hug.
US middle-distance man Michael Brannigan, 19, ran a superb race to win his first Paralympic gold in the men’s 1,500m T20, controlling the race from the gun to take the win in 3:51.73.
And there was a clean sweep for the USA in the women’s 1,500m T54 as Rio 2016 400m champion Tatyana McFadden was made to work hard by her American team-mates Amanda McGrory and Chelsea McClammer for her second gold of the Games.
In the men’s 100m T38, Jianwen Hu put in a blistering first 50m to smash Australian Evan O’Hanlon’s world record and take gold. And 18-year-old Yiting Shi tore through the field to win the women’s 200m T36 with a new lifetime best.
Brazil’s Felipe Gomes brought home gold for the host nation in the men’s 4x100m T11-13 relay final. And Belgium secured their first gold medal on the track as reigning world champion Peter Genyn (21.15) powered home to win the men’s 100m T51.
Great Britain’s Georgie Hermitage raced to her second gold medal of the Rio Games, breaking her own world record as she won the 400m T37 (1:00.53).
World records continued to tumble in the field as India’s Devendra destroyed his opponents in the men’s javelin F46, reclaiming the title he last won in 2004. The 35-year-old threw 63.97m in the third round to add 1.82m on to the record he set in Athens, Greece, 12 years ago.
China’s Guangxu Shang, 21, smashed his own world record twice on his way to gold in a gripping men’s long jump T37 final that saw the world record fall three times. And Britain’s Hollie Arnold also broke the world record twice on her way to winning the women’s javelin F46.
Canada’s Aurelie Rivard and Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Mereshko were among 15 Paralympic champions crowned at the Aquatic Centre.
Rivard, 20, renewed her rivalry with New Zealander Sophie Pascoe in the women’s 100m freestyle S10, capturing the gold and resetting the Paralympic record twice in one day. Pascoe, who beat Rivard at last year’s World Championships, was forced to settle for silver.
Mereshko eased to victory in the women’s 400m freestyle S6, well ahead of her British rival Eleanor Simmonds. China’s Lingling Song earned the silver, with Simmonds taking bronze.
Ukraine’s Maksym Krypak was the unexpected victor in the men’s 100m freestyle S10 – claiming his third gold of the Games. And Stephanie Millward of Great Britain won her first Paralympic gold, securing the women’s 100m backstroke S8.
China’s wheelchair fencers declared their dominance with the epee, topping the podium in three of the four events. There were golds for Xufeng Zou in the women’s epee category A event, Jingjing Zhou in the women’s epee category B, and Gang Sun in the men’s epee category A. The fourth gold medallist of the day was Belarus’s World No.1 Andrei Pranevich, who triumphed in the men’s epee category B.
In the powerlifting competition there was double gold joy for Egypt with wins for Randa Mahmoud in the women’s up to 86kg event and Mohamed Eldib in the men’s up to 97kg class. The other gold medal winner of the day in the men’s up to 88kg category was United Arab Emirates veteran Mohamed Khalaf, winning his country’s first gold medal of Rio 2016.
The first gold of the Rio 216 Para dressage competition was won by Norway’s Ann Cathrin Lübbe at the Olympic Equestrian Centre. In a thrilling and closely-contended grade III individual test Lübbe, riding Donatello, scored 72.878%, just ahead of Denmark’s Susanne Sunesen on Que Faire who took silver.
Whilst athletes competing in Rio’s outdoor venues were forced to ensure stiflingly hot conditions a lack of wind in the morning slowed progress in the sailing competition and caused one of the events to be cancelled for the day.
There were no such problems at the Rio Olympic Arena which hosted the quarter finals of the women’s basketball competition. Brazil bowed out with a brave effort, losing 35-66 to the USA, and Britain saw off China 57-38. The Netherlands also progressed to the semis with a 78-60 victory over Canada, and will be joined there by Germany, who beat France 76-28.
The group fixtures continued in goalball. In the women’s competition there were victories for USA, Brazil, Canada and China, and in the men’s competition the winners were Brazil, Sweden, Finland and Lithuania.
In the sitting volleyball there were victories for the women’s teams of Brazil and Ukraine, and for the men’s teams of Egypt and Brazil. The only winners in the day’s football 5-a-side fixtures were Spain, with all of the other pool games ending in draws.