Paralympics round-up: Christiansen wins third equestrian gold
Wednesday 05 September 2012
Sophie Christiansen became the first Briton to win three golds at the London Paralympics in the freestyle dressage Grade 1a test.
Christiansen, riding Janeiro 6, posted a huge 84.750 per cent, to take victory ahead of Laurentia Tan of Singapore and Ireland's Helen Kearney. Earlier, Sophie Wells and Deb Criddle both won silver medals.
Christiansen's patriotic musical freestyle routine included excerpts from Land of Hope and Glory and also featured Big Ben's chimes plus a quotation from Shakespeare's Richard II. The 24-year-old's third ride in six days completed a competition where the host nation won a medal in every event.
Peter Norfolk's bid to defend his quad singles title ended with defeat against Israel's Shraga Weinberg. Norfolk, known as the Quadfather, won the opening set 6-3 but Weinberg fought back to take the second 7-5, as Norfolk's serve faltered resulting in 12 double faults.
Weinberg took the final set 6-0 to leave Norfolk, who won singles gold and doubles bronze in Beijing, hoping that he can claim gold in the quad doubles. He and Andy Lapthorne face the American duo David Wagner and Nick Taylor today.
Norfolk, who has the racket taped to his hand, described his performance as "appalling, once my grip had gone". He added: "The big change was in my grip and not hitting it back in court. If you don't hit it in the court you can't win."
Nigel Murray ensured he would end his final Paralympics with a medal after Britain's mixed BC1-2 team secured boccia bronze at the ExCel Centre. The 48-year-old is Britain's most successful boccia player ever, having taken two golds and a silver since making his Games debut in Sydney 12 years ago.
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