David Weir storms to victory on the track while swimming talent pool strikes gold again
Britons win four golds in first six races at Aquatics Centre as Simmonds beats fatigue to take another medal
David Weir ended Britain's sixth day at the Paralympics in stunning style last night successfully defending his 1,500m title and helping Paralympics GB win three golds in a dramatic day across the park.
Weir, already Britain's most versatile wheelchair athlete and the winner earlier this week of the 5,000m, stormed around the Stratford stadium once more pushed on by an astonishing roar from the crowd. His remarkable success in the T54 class means he now racked up four golds, two silvers and two bronze medals in his Olympic career since Athens as well as a host of marathon titles.
"I've been dreaming of this day for seven years since when we won the announcement," an ecstatic Weir told the crowd. Asked what he was thinking on the last stretch of the race he replied: "I'm just thinking of winning, that's the only thing on my mind."
His race capped off another medal filled night in the stadium for Britain both in the stadium and in the swimming pool. Great Britain's swimmers were on fire taking four medals in the first six races
In one of Team GB's most successful nights at the aquatics centres so far, defending Paralympic champion and world record holder, Heather Frederiksen took Gold in the S8 100 metres backstroke. But it is impossible to keep Ellie Simmonds out of the headlines. She overcame fatigue to win a brilliant bronze in her weakest event – the 50m freestyle.
For Frederiksen the title was never really in doubt after she qualified four seconds quicker than her nearest rival in the heats a few hours earlier. But the win was remarkable considering that the 26-year-old from Leigh has spent several weeks in hospital this year with a neurological condition that caused debilitating migraines.
Natalie du Toit, South Africa's star swimmer won by 10 seconds in the 400m freestyle, but Britain's Stephanie Millward, 30, swam a great race to take the silver medal. In the first swimming final of the night, three out of the eight S8 100m backstroke finalists were British. Oliver Hynd, 17, swam brilliantly to claim a bronze medal.
Liverpool runner David Devine ran a stunning race in the T13 1500m, shaving six seconds off his previous personal best to bag both a bronze medal and a European record. "It's unbelievable," said Devine after the race. "I think about that crowd. I think I might have got pipped before, but that roar, as soon as it went that loud I just knew I was going to hang on."
An hour later his colleague Paul Blake, a runner with cerebral palsy competing in his first Paralympics, set the stadium alight once more as he collected silver in the T36 400m final. The women's 4x100m relay in th T35-36 category also bagged a bronze on the last race of the evening.
One of the biggest shocks so far for Team GB came yesterday afternoon when Paralympics tennis supremo, Peter Norfolk, lost the quad singles crown that he had held since 2004. Israel's Shraga Weinberg shocked the crowd at Eton Manor by beating Norfolk 6-0 in just 33 minutes in the final set.
The final day of competition at Greenwich Park saw Britain's equestrian team overtake the phenomenal world record medal tally they had set in Beijing. Both Deb Criddle and Sophie Wells won silver while team-mate Sophie Christiansen put on a stunning performance late in the evening to take gold with a score of 84.75 per cent. Team GB now have 11 medals to their name in the Paralympics dressage, one more than the 10 they won in Beijing, and a gong in every single event.
The first gold of the day went to archer Danielle Brown, 22, who retained her title after beating team-mate Mel Clarke in a nail-biting all-British women's Compound (Open) final.
Great Britain's defending Boccia champions picked themselves up after a crushing defeat in the semi-final to win BC1-2 Team bronze in front of another large crowd at the ExCeL centre.
Matt Skelhon claimed his second shooting medal of the Games, a bronze in the R6 50m Rifle Prone SH1 final at Royal Artillery Barracks.
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