Oscar opens bid for 3 golds

2008-09-08 17:04
Oscar Pistorius
Oscar Pistorius

Beijing -Oscar Pistorius began his bid to win three gold medals in the BeijingParalympics, clocking the fastest time Monday in heats of the 100 meters.

The South African, who failed in an attempt to qualify for the BeijingOlympics, ran a personal-best time of 11.16 seconds in the sprint. The nextbest times went to three Americans: Jerome Singleton (11.48), Brian Frasure(11.49) and Marlon Shirley (11.77).

Pistorius will also run the 200 and 400, hoping to better his performancefour years ago in the Athens Paralympics where he won a gold and bronze.

The double amputee, known as the "Blade Runner" because of theprosthetic legs he races on, won a legal battle in May for the right to run inthe Olympics. However, subsequently he failed to meet the qualifying timestandard.

Forty-one medals were awarded on Monday, the second day of the Paralympics. China leadswith 28 medals overall _ eight gold. The United States also has eight goldmedals and 17 overall.

South African swimmer Natalie Du Toit won her second gold in two days,winning the 100 freestyle after taking the 100 butterfly on Sunday. She'sattempting to win five gold medals in Beijing.

The longest winning streak

The United Statestook three of the 18 golds in swimming to lead that tally. The medals went toJessica Long, Erin Popovich and Anna Eames.

The 10 gold medals on Monday in track and field were scattered around with China takingtwo to top that tally. Cuba,Australia, Saudi Arabia, Latvia,Algeria, Denmark, Canadaand the Netherlandseach took a gold medal.

Medals awarded in other events included track cycling (5), equestrian (2),judo (4) and shooting (2).

One of the longest winning streaks in sports stayed in place as TheNetherlands' Esther Vergeer defeated Daniela Di Toro 6-2, 6-0 to extend herstring to 345 consecutive victories in a first-round match in wheelchairtennis.

The 27-year-old Vergeer has won four gold medals in the last two ParalympicGames - in singles and doubles - and will look to repeat again in Beijing.

Di Toro is a former top-ranked player and the last to defeat Vergeer. Thatwas 5 years ago.

"It was an important match and I was kind of nervous in the firstcouple of games," Vergeer said. "A couple of years ago she was mybiggest rival. The stadium is full and there are a lot of people watching, andthat is also very different from what we are used to."


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