Fifteen medals awarded on London Paralympics fourth night of track and field
Monday, September 3, 2012
As runners raced around the track, a 'wall of sound' from the crowd followed them. Given the potential for confusion about, commentators and video screens provided repeated explanations of relevant classifications. In the centre of the field, during the men's 400 metre heats and other finals, javelin competitors' efforts were greeted with "oohs and aahs" from the stadium whilst their throws were in-flight; a remote-controlled car was used to return javelins to the competitors. 's win in the discus final prompted the crowd to sing along to the national anthem during the medal ceremony. No other country enjoyed quite the same level of flag waving and singing during subsequent medal ceremonies.
Women, competing in the two blind classification finals, ran almost-exclusively with male guide runners. The entrants in the men'sdiscus competition also had guides helping position them on the field, and ensuring they threw onto the field of play.
Preceded by heats for the men's 400 metresevent, the first final of the night was the women's 200 metres T11, won by Terezinha Guilhermina with her guide Guilherme Soares de Santana.
In the women's 100 metres T12 final, thatcompetitor Guohua Zhou and her guide Jie Li finished first was of secondary importance to the home crowd, whose cheers grew louder following the announcement that Great Britain's Libby Clegg, and guide-runner Mikhail Huggins, came in second. The pair did a celebratory lap around the stadium, briefly stopping as a medal was awarded for one of the earlier events. At the end of their victory lap, Clegg hugged her coach whilst Huggins athletes standing at the edge of the stadium before being joined by Clegg for hugs from team-mates.
Whilst Katrina Hart and Jenny McLoughlin of Great Britain received the loudest cheers when announced for the women's 100 metresevent, Namibia's Johanna Benson was also vocally encouraged by the crowd; starting without the use of blocks, she earned a silver, finishing behind 's Mandy Francois-Elie by 15 hundredths of a second. There was a delay in announcing the bronze medallist, ultimately Neda Bahi of , because of the closeness of the finish which came down to a hundredth of a second separating her from fourth-placed Maria Seifert of . Later in the night, immediately following 's 200 metres final, Francois-Elie was awarded her gold medal whilst French athletes loudly sang their national anthem.
Pistorius's race was near the end of the programme, with the announcer hyping it throughout the evening's competition. When the announcer said Pistorius had entered the field of play, the crowd screamed. As he finally stepped up to be introduced the volume increased, and cameras flashed around the stadium. Pistorius ran his race taking the silver, losing to Brazilian Alan Fonteles Cardoso Oliveira by less than a tenth of a second.
had a successful night, with earning a silver in the women's long jump F46 event, earning a silver in the men's 5,000 metres T54, earning a bronze in the women's 100 metres event and earning bronze in the men's 200 metres event. Ballard, competing in her fourth Games, said following her race: "It's really good especially after how I did at Beijing. So to go home with a medal is great. Hopefully I can do more with that over the rest of the week."
Hosts Great Britain had a better night, earning a number of medals including David Weir taking gold in the men's 5,000 metres T54, Graeme Ballard silver in the men's 100 metres T36, Libby Clegg and her guide runner Mikhail Huggins winning silver in the women's 100 metres T12.
Current leader in medals China added more to their tally, including gold and silver for Lisha Huang and Honghuan Zhou in the women's 100 metres T53 event, gold in the women's 100 metres T12 for Guohua Zhou and her guide Jie Li, silver for Yang Liu in the men's 100 metres T54, a bronze taken by Juntingxian Jia and guide Donglin Xu in the women's 200 metres T11 and a bronze in the women's long jump T46 for Jingling Ouyang.
Thepicked up a few additional medals too, including a gold earned by Raymond Martin, a bronze taken by Paul Nitz in the men's 100 metres T52 event, bronze for April Holmes in the women's 100 metres T53 event and bronze for Blake Leeper in the men's 200 metres T44 event.