Another golden day for Britain as Roberts closes on record

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The Independent Online

Swimmer David Roberts won his 10th Paralympic title and equestrian rider Lee Pearson secured a 100 per cent success rate from three Games as Great Britain celebrated another golden day here yesterday.

Helene Raynsford and Tom Aggar won the first ever Paralympic rowing finals after shooter Matt Skelhon had begun the gold rush. Roberts' third success from three events in his third games followed before Sophie Christiansen and Pearson won equestrian gold in Hong Kong. But an athletics gold at the Bird's Nest Stadium remains elusive after multiple world champion wheelchair racer David Weir picked up bronze.

Three further bronzes were won in the Water Cube through Sam Hynd, Heather Frederiksen and Louise Watkin and the mixed coxed fours rowing team of Vicki Hansford, Naomi Riches, Alastair McKean and James Morgan, with cox Alan Shermen, were third. Equestrian riders Anne Dunham, Ricky Balshaw and Simon Laurens each won silver at Sha Tin.

The six golds took Britain's total to 27, with a total tally of 57 after five days of competition, behind only hosts China, who have 33 and 96. The day's highlight came at the National Aquatics Center when Roberts, who won three titles in Sydney and four in Athens, added his third gold of the Games to move within one of Welsh compatriot Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson on the all-time record list. The 28-year-old from Pontypridd, who has cerebral palsy, defended a title he won in Greece for the third time, winning the men's S7 400 metres freestyle in four minutes 51.35 seconds, lowering the official world record but more than two seconds outside his personal best.

Agony struck again for Weir after he finished third in the men's T54 5,000 metres final. The three-time Paralympian entered five events at the Bird's Nest and remains Britain's best hope of track gold, with the 800m, 1,500m and marathon to come. The 29-year-old from Wallington, Surrey, has been laid low by illness, but remains determined to complete his gruelling programme and win gold.

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