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Du Toit Wins 11th Paralympic Games Gold; China Leads Medal Table

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- South African swimmer Natalie du Toit won her 11th gold medal and British cyclist Sarah Storey her eighth on day one of the London Paralympic Games.

Chinese athletes broke world records in shooting, swimming and cycling yesterday to lead the medals table.

Du Toit, 28, won the women’s 100 meters butterfly in the S9 category, while Storey, 33, took the women’s individual C5 pursuit. Storey has won five gold medals in swimming and three in cycling since switching sports.

China leads the medal count with six golds and 15 overall. Australia is next with three golds and nine in total. Britain, Urkaine, Germany and Russia have two golds each.

The games run through Sept. 9, with more than 4,000 athletes from 164 teams participating. Athletes compete in classes depending on their impairment, with a higher number typically signaling a lesser impediment.

Jonathan Fox won Britain’s other gold in the 100 meters backstroke S7. Russians Sergey Punko and Oxana Savchenko won the men and women’s 400 meters freestyle S12, a category for the visually impaired.

China’s Zhang Cuiping claimed the first gold of the games in the women’s R2-10 meter air rifle standing SH1 event with a record total of 500.9. Athletes in the class can support the weight of their firearm themselves.

In other Chinese world records, Zheng Tao won the men’s 100 meters backstroke S6 in 1 minute, 13.56 seconds. Lu Dong won the women’s event in 1:24:71, and Zeng Sini set a new mark on the way to winning the women’s cycling pursuit C1-2-3.

Australians Susan Powell and Kieran Modra broke world records en route to winning the women’s C4 pursuit title and the men’s tandem pursuit for the blind and visually impaired.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Duff through the London sports desk or at aduff4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at at celser@bloomberg.net

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