Day 7 review: Road cycling champions take over and stamp authority
Jammed-pack action at the Fuji International Speedway, while legends make their marks in the pool, track and shooting range31 Aug 2021
After two Paralympic titles in Nordic Skiing, American Oksana Masters won the H4-H5 time trial, her first gold in a Summer Games
Ⓒ Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images
Road cycling kicked off at the scenic Fuji International Speedway with 19 Paralympic champions crowned; Cuba’s Omara Durand added a sixth Paralympic title on the track and is gunning for more; an emotional celebration from New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe showed how much the gold meant; and semi-final matches for goalball, sitting volleyball, 5-a-side football and wheelchair basketball have been decided.
Here are some of the highlights from Day 7 (31 August) at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games:
It was a busy day in road cycling with 19 classes competing in the time trial, as athletes weaved their way around the 8km course over three laps.
The day saw Para athletes flex their versatility, with the USA’s Oksana Masters winning her ninth Paralympic medal, but first gold at a Summer Games. A two-time gold medallist from PyeongChang 2018 in Nordic skiing, Masters found redemption from her fifth place finish five years ago in Rio to take the H4-5 class.
Coming off a triathlon win, the Netherlands’ Jetze Plat showed no signs of tiredness, strongly claiming the men’s H4 and his first Paralympic medal in the time trial; he had competed in the sport at Rio 2016 and London 2012, with his best finish being bronze in the road race.
Annika Zeyen was the only one coming over from a team sport to win gold in the women’s H1-3. The wheelchair basketball champion from London 2012 surprised herself on Tuesday, having never won gold in the time trial at a major Championships until this day.
GOLD AT LAST
New Zealand’s queen in the pool Sophie Pascoe captured her 10th Paralympic gold. But Tuesday’s win in the women’s 100m freestyle S9 was a refreshing victory, having oddly found herself on the lower podium steps throughout Tokyo 2020. She now has a complete set of medals, with silver in the 100m breaststroke SB8 and bronze in the 100m backstroke S9 earlier in Tokyo.
The second day of shooting saw Iran’s Sareh Javanmardi reposition herself as the pistol queen. Dominating from start to finish, Javanmardi defended her title in the P2 (women’s 10m air pistol SH1), an incredible feat considering the up-and-down seasons she has had since Rio 2016, including not making the podium in two of her three events at the 2019 World Championships. But Iran’s first female Paralympic champion in the sport looked back in form on Tuesday.
Over in archery, China's He Zihao dominated the field in the men's individual compound open, taking his second gold medal in Tokyo. His victory added to the gold in the mixed team compound open with partner Lin Yueshan.
RACING AGAINST HERSELF—AND GUIDE
Cuba’s Omara Durand stormed to her sixth Paralympic Games gold as her decade of dominance continued. The 29-year-old ’queen of speed’ won the women’s 400m T12 by more than 2.5 seconds to claim her third successive title in the event.
It was a special morning for Cuba as the country bagged their first two gold medals at Tokyo 2020. If Omara was going for her sixth title, Robiel Yankiel Sol made his Paralympic debut in the men’s long jump T47. His first attempt was a Paralympic record of 7.46m that gave him the gold medal three centimetres ahead of USA’ defending champion Roderick Townsend.
Five years ago at Rio 2016, Morocco became the first African side to compete at a Paralympic Games and now the team will be the first from the region to enter the knock-out stages of 5-a-side football. They will face defending champions Brazil, while Argentina faces China.