x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Paralympics: Racer Hammadi wins sprint bronze to complete UAE medal set

Mohammed Hammadi's bronze last night helped the UAE record their best ever result at a Paralympic Games, while Oscar Pistorius set a new 400m record to end the athletics events in style.

Mohammed Hammadi finished third in the 100-metre T34 final to add a bronze medal to the silver he collected in the 200m. Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP Photo
Mohammed Hammadi finished third in the 100-metre T34 final to add a bronze medal to the silver he collected in the 200m. Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP Photo

LONDON // Mohammed Hammadi won a bronze to add to his silver medal in the wheelchair sprint for the UAE to finish with their best ever record at a Paralympic Games.

Hammadi finished third behind Walid Ktila of Tunisia and Rheed McCracken of Australia in the 100-metre T34 dash in the London Games last night.

The Emirati had got the better of the Australian in the 200m sprint on Tuesday but failed to get ahead of him over the shorter distance while Ktila completed the sprint double in a new Paralympic record time of 15.91 seconds. McCracken clocked 16.30 and Hammadi 16.41.

Hammadi's third place means the UAE return home with a full set of gold, silver and bronze medals after Abdullah Sultan Al Aryani won shooting gold in the mixed R6-50m air rifle prone SH1 on Tuesday.

Oscar Pistorius signed off from London 2012 in style this evening as he exacted some revenge on Brazil's Alan Fonteles Oliveira by winning T44 400 metre gold in a new Paralympic record time.

The 25-year-old has lost his 100m and 200m crowns over the past week, with the latter going to Oliveira in controversial circumstances.

Pistorius complained about the length of his rival's blades in the aftermath but this evening there were no such issues as the South African romped to victory ahead of a United States one-two of Blake Leeper and David Prince.

Oliveira could only finish fourth after a strong start, with Pistorius winning the last event at the Olympic Stadium in a Paralympic record time of 46.68 seconds."It is very, very special to me," he told Channel 4.

"It was the last event of my season, the last event of the London 2012 Paralympic Games [at the stadium]. It was just so special.

"It was the 11th time I was able to come out on the track and I just wanted to give the crowd something they could appreciate and take home with them.  I was very nervous before today's race. I was quite tired but the crowd really kept me going.

"For the first I was actually thinking about something beside my race coming into the home straight."I could hear the crowd, which was very weird and so loud. I thought 'let's just finish off on a good note'."

Brazil defended their unbeaten record in Paralympic five-a-side football, beating France 2-0 to clinch their third gold in three Games.

Gabriel Da Silva converted a first-half penalty after captain Ricardo Steinmetz Alves was brought down in the box, while Martin Baron deflected the rattling ball into his own net in the second to make sure of the win.

Five-a-side football, which is played by blind and visually impaired footballers wearing eye masks with sighted goalkeepers, made its debut in 2004 at the Athens Paralympics and the South Americans have not been beaten since.

At this year's competition at the Riverbank Stadium in East London, they did not concede a goal, while France had also come into the final with a clean sheet.

But the score line could have been different had veteran goalkeeper Fabio Ribeiro de Vasconcelos not saved two penalties from David Labarre and Frederic Villeroux.

In the bronze medal match, Spain and Argentina were goalless after regulation time but the Europeans went on to win 1-0 in a penalty shoot-out.

US swimmer Victoria Arlen took Britain Ellie Simmonds' 100m S6 freestyle title, swimming to victory in a new world record for her first Paralympic gold of the London Games.

The 17 year old led from the front to take the race in 1 minute, 13.33 seconds, more than a second faster than her previous world best, with Beijing champion Simmonds in silver and Tanya Groepper of Germany in third.

Simmonds won both the S6 100m and 400m freestyle titles in Beijing four years ago at the age of just 13. She successfully defended the longer race in London and added the 200m crown as well as a bronze in the 50m.

In other news, two Russian powerlifters have been handed two-year suspensions after testing positive for human growth hormone in London, the International Paralympic Committee announced yesterday.

Both Nikolay Marfin and Vadim Rakitin tested positive for human growth hormone before competition commencing at London 2012.

A statement from the IPC read: "The athletes - Nikolay Marfin and Vadim Rakitin - each returned adverse analytical findings in blood samples taken from out of competition tests conducted on August 23 and August 25 in London, before the start of the Paralympic Games.

"Both athletes were notified of their respective antidoping rule violation on September 4, the same day the laboratory results were received by the IPC, and were immediately suspended.

"Rakitin had competed in the men's -90kg class at the Paralympic Games on September 4 and Marfin was due to compete on September 6 in the men's +100kg class, but was prohibited from competing."

Their suspensions were imposed from August 23 and the pair were fined €1,500 (Dh7,062) each.

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