Records tumble as mainland takes 1st gold of Paralympics
By Phil Hazlewood, AFP
August 31, 2012, 12:09 am TWN
LONDON--World records tumbled in the pool and on the cycling track on Thursday, as the first day of competition at the London Paralympics got under way and China won the games' first gold medal.
At the Velodrome, seven-time Paralympic champion Sarah Storey — who won five swimming titles before taking two more when she switched to cycling in 2008 — clocked a new world best 3min 32.170 seconds in the women's C5 3km individual pursuit.
Joanna Rowsell, who was a member of the British women's team that won gold in the team pursuit at the Olympics earlier this month, won that race in 3:32.364.
Meanwhile two other world records were set in qualifying for the women's C1-2-3 3km individual pursuit: Zeng Sini, a C2 rider from China, broke the world best to book a place in the gold medal race against Australia's Simone Kennedy.
Australia's women then posted a new world record in the C4 3km individual pursuit, with Susan Powell qualifying quickest in 4 minutes 3.306 seconds.
At the Aquatics Centre, Britain's Jonathan Fox signalled his intent to upgrade his 100m backstroke S7 Paralympic silver four years ago, lowering his own previous world best by 0:59 seconds to 1 minute 9.86 seconds.
The end of a morning of swimming heats coincided with the final of the women's R2 10m air rifle at the Royal Artillery Barracks, which saw China's Zhang Cuiping win the Games' first gold, scoring 104.9 for an overall score of 500.9.