Thrilling Thursday: 6 Paralympic Gold Medals
Today’s Paralymipcs saw Britains total medal count exceed all expectations and smash through the gold tally scored four years ago at Beijing. We were doing ok for medals during the day but then there was a deluge of medals in this evening’s athletics with three incredible races all scoring golds for British Athletes.
Possibly my favourite non athletic moment of the day was Adam Hills on Channel4′s Last Leg revealing that as an ex tennis coach someone suggested that he’d be great at wheelchair tennis. He said quite frankly even with a prosthetic leg he didn’t fancy spending four years confined to a wheelchair for hours on end each day and it would be far too embarrassing to win gold and then leap out of his wheelchair and jump the net!
Sporting highlight of the day had to be the blind triple jump. Seeing athletes running full pelt, with nothing to keep them on course other than their coach shouting, before they leap into the void was amazing and the great performances were made even more unbelievable when things went wrong and athletes went off course – why the umpires have to sit so close to the sandpit and have things like sand rakes laying around for competitors to hit is just unforgivable carelessness!
First up however we have the the gold medal stamp for Lee Pearson, Sophie Wells, Sophie Christiansen and Deborah Criddle who won the Equestrian Team Championship last Sunday.
Post boxes will be painted for Sophie Christiansen in Sunningdale, Deborah Criddle in Taunton, Lee Pearson in Stoke-on-Trent and Sophie Wells in Newark. Their celebratory post boxes are all due to be painted tomorrow, the 7th of September.
Helena Lucas Sailing Single-Person Keelboat, 2.4mR
Due to a lack of wind, today’s Sailing was been cancelled and medals have been awarded based on rankings at the end of race 10. That’s worked in favour of Helena who has built up a healthy nine point lead and was leading the regatta.
Scoring yet another gold for Britain Helena has already had her gold medal stamp designed by Royal Mail and as a local Dorset girl her neighbours in Helena’s home town of Portland will be able to buy the stamps at Easton Post Office, Refome. Portland is where you’ll be able to find a gold pillar box painted from it’s normal red to mark her mastery of the seas.
Sarah Storey Cycling Women’s Individual C 4-5 Road Race
Sarah is the first Paralympic athlete to be awarded a fourth gold medal stamp following three previous cycling golds at these Games. Wearing her four gold medals all at the same time means that Sarah will have to suffer about 1.5kg hanging around her neck!
It’s hard to say the it was a one horse race, but Sarah finished over seven minutes ahead of her nearest rival in an emphatic win taking her 1hr 40min and 36sec. As if we didn’t have enough cycling hero’s from the Olympics and Tour de France, Sarah seems to have made it her quest to cement our position as the premier cycling country in the world.
I love the image Royal Mail have chosen of Sarah, quite rightly showing her smiling as she wins in front of an adoring crowd. Sarah will also be honoured with yet another gold post box, this time in Macclesfield.
Josef Craig Men’s S7 400m Freestyle
What to do when you set a new world record in your heats? Well in Josef Craig style you break the world record yet again in the final, and not only that but you smash the record you set earlier in the day by over 3 seconds. What’s even more amazing as well as a gold medal winning performance Josef set another record, he’s the youngest ever British Paralympian to win a gold medal as he’s still only 15 years old!
If you want to be one of the first to buy Josef’s gold medal you’ll find it by early next week at the Post Office in Norham terrace, Jarrow close to where Josef lives. There will also be a post box painting ceremony in Josef’s honour within the next few days.
Hannah Cockroft Women’s T34 200m
Having won the 100m wheelchair race earlier this week in a new Paralympic record time, Hannah Cockroft went on to smash the Paralympic record for the 200m earlier this evening for her second gold medal of the games.
Wheelchair racing is absolutely amazing and “Hurricane” Hannah certainly knows how to get her chariot racing, hitting the front from the start there was little doubt as she came round the bend that she was going to win in style, and she did with several lengths to spare.
Hannah is much loved by the Paralympic crowds and has been named as the sexiest woman of the Paralympics by FHM, something she said she’s pretty happy about on The Last Leg. We’ll have an image of her Royal Mail stamp as soon as it’s produced.
David Weir Men’s T34 800m
David Weir thrilled the 80,000 crowd in the stadium tonight whipping them up into another frenzy as he won his third gold medal win crossing the line with chest bared. This was no walkover like Hannah’s earlier race though, David had to fight all the way to the line to clinch his medal to the roars of the ecstatic crowd as he hit the front and raced for the line.
David’s stamp should be available to buy across the country next week and we’ll hopefully have an image of it tomorrow.
Jonnie Peacock Men’s T44 100m
The 100m is always one of the most exciting races of the games, and today Jonnie Peacock became the fastest ever Paralympian over 100m leaving the field trailing in his wake. 10.9 seconds is all the time it took for Jonnie to leave the blocks to cross the finish line and move into the history books as well as snagging the final gold medal of the day. Oscar Pistorius perhaps the best known Paralympian of the London 2012 Games was first to congratulate Jonnie with a hug on his first gold medal.
Six more gold medals today and still another three days to go, Britain’s athletes have done us proud!