IN SPITE of having only a handful of practice sessions together, the United States men's wheelchair relay team set a world record on the way to taking the gold medal in the 4 x 100 metres at the Paralympic Games yesterday.
The team of Paul Nitz, Bart Dodson, Brad Ramage and Shawn Meredith finished in 1min 10.92sec, knocking almost nine seconds off the previous mark and nearly 13 seconds off the Paralympic record. Australia, who set the previous world record last month, finished second in 1:13.22, with Switzerland third in 1:21.77.
For Britain, Paul Williams and Shane Grenfell won gold and silver in the class five javelin for cerebral palsy sufferers, with Williams setting a world record of 42.92 metres; and the cerebral palsy football team lost 2-1 to Portugal on a penalty shoot-out after drawing 0-0 after extra-time in the semi-final.
A South African athlete who tested positive for banned drugs will be allowed to keep his gold medal. It was decided that traces of banned substances in the discus thrower Leon Labuschagne's sample were part of his regular medication and he has not been warned against taking them again.
Michael Riding, the head of the International Coordinating Committee's medical commission, accused the South African federation of 'blatant incompetence' and recommended sanctions against them. Labuschagne, who set a discus record on Tuesday, became the second athlete to fail the new routine dope tests. Earlier, the Hungarian shot putter Denes Nagy tested positive for anabolic steroids and was stripped of his silver medal.
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