Classification fiasco halts Chin but Weir takes gold

David Weir and Rebecca Chin suffered contrasting emotions on day eight of the Paralympics here – the wheelchair racer ended a 12-year wait extended by 24 hours for gold while the thrower was left in limbo by a reclassification ruling.

Weir finished first in the men's T54 800 metres final on Saturday night only for a protest over a lanes mix-up by Australia's Kurt Fearnley, the second-placed athlete, to deny him gold.

A re-run was ordered by the International Paralympic Committee jury of appeal, but 12 hours later Fearnley performed a U-turn and the result stood, ending Weir's wait for his first gold in his third Paralympic Games.

Chin has not been so fortunate. The 16-year-old from Deganwy was reclassified after winning silver in the women's F37/38 discus and will return to North Wales with nothing – not even a category in which to compete in the Paralympics.

The medal fiascos overshadowed a day when Britain surpassed the gold medal target laid down by UK Sport when swimmers Eleanor Simmonds and David Roberts and wheelchair tennis ace Peter Norfolk won gold to take the tally to 41 and 90 medals in all.

Swimmer Matt Walker and archer John Cavanagh won silver, while Matt Whorwood and Louise Watkin, in the pool, and sprinter John McFall added bronze.

Chin, who was reclassified on the eve of the Games from the F44 category (as a les autres or other) to the F38 category (for those with cerebral palsy), has been denied a medal in her first Games – becoming the third British athlete after Shelly Woods and Weir to be embroiled in a medal mix-up.

Chin, who was born with a lower limb impairment, was on course for Britain's first athletics gold before news of Weir's reinstatement broke and China's Mi Na won the discus with a final round world record throw.

The Briton initially won silver but the result was overturned following a ruling by the chief classifier.

The decision was bizarre after Chin's assessment on 5 September while she also competed in the women's F37/38 shot put final, finishing 10th on Thursday. However, the IPC insisted Chin was "not eligible, not matching the sport class profile" after she "showed significantly different skill sets" in the shot and the discus.

"If she was only a shot putter, then she'd be an F38," said British athletics team manager Tim Jones.

Chin was initially assessed in June at the national trials and Britain were assured her F44 categorisation was correct but a subsequent analysis placed her in the F38 class, despite having no previous medical evidence of cerebral palsy.

"It was a surprise," added Jones of the initial reclassification. "Medically, you're saying they've got a disability they weren't aware of."

After Chin's latest setback, Jones hopes for a future resolution.

"She's been a failure of the system," added Jones. "But the bottom line is that she's a 16-year-old kid and I really do hope she's not going to get hung out to dry."

There was an agonising overnight wait for Weir, who made his debut in Atlanta before picking up 100m silver and 200m bronze in Athens, ended when Australia withdrew their protest.

The 29-year-old from Wallington, Surrey, was informed at 11am by British coach Pete Wyman but he had to hold on for another 10 hours before the medal ceremony.

Not even the wet weather could dampen Weir's spirits as he collected his first Paralympic gold, 24 hours later than scheduled, in his third Games.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms