The first day of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games is packed with sporting action and includes the Games’ first medals.08 Sep 2016
Slovakia's world and European champion Veronika Vadovicova.
The first medals of the Games won’t take long to be determined when Rio 2016 bursts into life today (Thursday 8 September).
Slovakia’s Veronika Vadovicova, the reigning world and European champion, is among the favourites to clinch the first gold of the Games when she competes in the shooting R2 (women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1).
Sweden’s world champion Jonas Jacobsson gets his 10th Paralympic Games underway in the R1 (men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1). He has 30 medals spread across every edition since 1980 and will be determined to add to that tally.
In the velodrome, Netherlands’ Alyda Norbruis attempts one of her two golds in the women’s C1-2-3 individual pursuit.
There is also a genuine battle between Great Britain’s Sarah Storey, a four-time Paralympic champion, and Poland’s Anna Harkowska in the women’s C5 pursuit.
The Polish athlete defeated Storey in the scratch race at the 2016 World Championships in March, which was enough to show Harkowska has the ability to end Storey’s dominance.
On the track, Tatyana McFadden starts her quest for an unprecedented seven Paralympic titles with the 100m T54 heats.
Ireland’s two-time 100m T13 Paralympic champion Jason Smyth – the fastest Paralympian in the world – will look to qualify for the sprint final, as will the world’s fastest female Paralympian, Cuba’s Omara Durand in the women’s 100m T12.
And the first track medal of the Games will go to the winner of the men’s 5,000m T11, where Brazilian hopes rest with world 1,500m champion Odair Santos.
Watch out, too, for the heats of the men’s 100m T44 featuring the USA’s Jarryd Wallace, Brazilian Alan Oliveira and Britain’s reigning champion Jonnie Peacock.
In the pool, the first 16 swimming medals will be awarded. Brazilian superstar Daniel Dias competes in the 200m freestyle S5, while Belarusian Ihar Boki looks strong in the butterfly S13.
China’s Tao Zheng produced an iconic performance in the 100m backstroke S6 at London 2012, and he is also in action.
In Judo, German twins Carmen and Ramona Brussig are aiming to repeat their London 2012 success, while Brazil take on the USA in the men’s wheelchair basketball and face Argentina in the women’s competition.
Finally, Nigeria’s world champion Yakubu Adesokan and Vietnam’s world record holder van Cong Le will clash for powerlifting gold in the men’s up to 49kg.
In the women’s up to 41 kg, Turkey’s defending Paralympic, world and European champion Nazmiye Muratli will try to defend her title against China’s world record holder Zhe Cui.