Sprinters Oscar Pistorius of South Africa and Jason Smyth of Ireland were among the world record setters yesterday at the London Paralympics, where American Jessica Long won her third gold medal of the games.
Pistorius won his 200-meter T44 heat in a record time of
21.33 seconds to advance to tomorrow’s final.
The 25-year-old South African, who was born without fibulas in both legs and is nicknamed “Blade Runner” for his J-shaped carbon fiber legs, last month became the first amputee runner to compete at the Olympics when he ran as part of South Africa’s 1,600-meter relay team.
Smyth broke the record in the men’s 100-meter T13 with a time of 10.46 seconds to win by more than half a second over Cuba’s Luis Felipe Gutierrez. The 25-year-old Smyth, who trains with U.S. sprinter Tyson Gay in Florida, set the previous mark of 10.54 in yesterday’s heats.
Chinese athletes won eight gold medals yesterday -- in swimming, judo, track cycling and track and field -- and 22 in total to extend their lead at the top of the standings.
China has 20 golds and 56 total, while Australia is second with 11 golds among its 29 medals. Britain won five golds today to match Ukraine with nine, Russia has eight and the U.S. has six.
Long, 20, won the women’s 100-meter breaststroke SB7 gold medal in 1 minute, 29.28 seconds, finishing more than 6 1/2 seconds ahead of Oksana Khrul of Ukraine. She now has 10 career gold medals after winning three at the age of 12 in Athens in 2004 and four more in Beijing four years ago.
British athletes broke two world marks as swimmer Ellie Simmonds won the women’s swimming 400-meter S6 freestyle in five minutes, 19.17 seconds, and Neil Fachie and Barney Storey clocked a world record of 1 minute, 01.351 seconds in the men’s track cycling tandem one-kilometer time trial.
The games run through Sept. 9, with more than 4,000 athletes from 164 teams competing in a series of classes depending on their impairment.