Australia’s Paralympic champion Kurt Fearnly gained revenge for his London marathon loss earlier this year by defeating the man who beat him in the British capital to claim gold in the 1500m T54 at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.
In the last major gathering of international athletes before next January’s IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, Fearnley took the gold ahead of his compatriot Richard Colman and Canadian and London marathon winner Josh Cassidy.
"It was a pretty good roll," said Fearnley, whose time was 3min 19.86sec proved that not only can he win marathons, but is still up to speed on the track as well.
In the women’s 1500m T54 race, Canadian Diane Roy dominated the field taking home the gold medal in a time of 3:53.95, almost 14 seconds ahead of second place Chineme Obeta of Nigeria. Ghana’s Anita Fordjour won bronze.
Fearnley’s compatriot Simon Patmore won Australia’s first gold medal on the track in Delhi in the men’s 100m T46 event. Crossing the line in 11.14, the Australian beat South Africa’s Samkelo Radebe and Nigeria’s Ayuba Abdullahi.
On the same day, the honour of claiming England’s first athletics gold medal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium went to Katrina Hart as she topped the podium in the women’s 100m T37 final.
The 20-year-old was pushed all the way by Welsh rival Jenny McLoughlin and Namibia’s Johanna Benson, who won silver and bronze respectively.
In the men’s shot put F34 event, Kyle Pettey became the first Athletics Canadian para-thrower to ever win a medal at the Commonwealth Games. He won the gold medal with a world record performance of 11.44m. England’s Daniel West and Australia’s Hamish Macdonald finished second and third respectively.
In the pool, South Africa’s Natalie DuToit once again proved too good for the rest of the field, winning her third gold medal in her third start at the Commonwealth Games.
DuToit finished well ahead in 1:07.32 with England’s Stephanie Millward claiming silver and Ellie Cole of Australia bronze. The victory also put her sixth on the list of all-time Commonwealth Games gold medalists - with a total of seven over three Games. It also means she has won more Commonwealth Games gold medals than any other African athlete.
Du Toit, who has never lost a Commonwealth Games race, said: "I’ve had a great Commonwealth Games and I’m so delighted to be heading home with three gold medals, so you can’t really ask for much more than that."
Three-time Paralympian Ben Austin out-swam his Commonwealth competitors to win gold in the 100m Freestyle S8, in a time of 1:00.04. Scot Sean Fraser secured silver, while Austin’s team-mate Blake Cochrane took home bronze.
Multiple Paralympic gold medalist Benoit Huot of Canada set a new Commonwealth Games record in the men’s 100m Freestyle S10 race, finishing in 53.70, ahead of Australia’s Andrew Pasterfield and England’s Robert Welbourn.
"I won the bronze in 2002, the silver in 2006 so I definitely wanted the gold this year,’’ said Huot, recapping his Commonwealth Games history. ‘’This is something I had been thinking about for a year."
While the Swimming competition for para-athletes has finished at the Commonwealth Games, there are still more Athletics, Table Tennis and Powerlifting events to come.