1205: I swear, when I looked closely as he crossed the finish line, I saw wings on Richard Whiteman's back. He did indeed fly to a men’s 200m T42 world record and a gold medal. Not bad considering he would rather be running the marathon.
1226: A high percentage of Paralympians will go through the pain barrier in a bid to claim Olympic glory, but Australian Hannah-Louise Dodd takes gold when it comes to guts. The 20-year-old dressage rider has a rare form of spina bifida and, as a result, she dislocates a number of bones every she rides. Truly unbelievable. Conveniently, her mother is a trained physiotherapist and is on hand to pop the bones back into the right place.
Dodd is clearly made of stern stuff, one of her hobbies is kick-boxing.
1303: That’s a picture from the Paralympic GB vs. Brazil women’s wheelchair basketball match, both teams looking for their first point of the Games.
1309: The individual grade Ib equestrian final goes ahead this afternoon, with Britain’s Lee Pearson setting his sights on a 10th Paralympic gold medal. The 38-year-old took his first title in Sydney 12 years ago and he hasn’t looked back. He was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenital, which can impact joints and cause muscle weakness. As a child, Pearson was carried up the steps of 10 Downing Street by then British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Win another medal, Lee, and I think you might have another invite from the PM.
1339: A heartwarming story from the Olympic Stadium which proves these Games are not just about the medal winners. Amputee Houssein Omar Hassan of Djibouti competed in the heats of the men’s T46 1500m, but when the other seven competitors in the race had finished, he still had some way to go. Eventually, seven minutes behind his closest competitor, Omar Hassan crossed the line in a time of 11:23.50 to a roar of approval from the crowd. He joins Eric the eel in going down in Paralympic and Olympic folklore. Sometimes it’s not about winning, it’s about taking part.
1348: A little more info on the man destined to become a Paralympic cult hero: Houssein Omar Hassan. He entered the Games on a wildcard and he is Djibouti’s first Paralympic runner. I suspect he might miss out on a fastest loser spot in the final after finishing over seven minutes behind the race winner, but the rapturous reception he received as he completed the 1500m will surely live with him forever.
1422: The action in the Velodrome has been, as ever, breathless. Allison Jones is on track and going for gold in the women’s individual C1-2-3 500m time trial. The C2 athlete is something of a jack of all trades as she also partakes in road cycling and alpine skiing. She should be prepared, she was part of a seven-strong party which travelled to Britain to check on Games venues last year.
On a completely unrelated note, she also collects Coca-Cola bottles from all over the world. I’m not quite sure what to say about that, if I’m honest…
1431: It certainly is! If it’s not Richard Whiteman’s record-breaking gold then its Houssein Omar Hassan’s triumphant walk into Paralympic legend. I have been close to a warbling wreck on several occasions. It is brilliant though, isn’t it?
1457: Paralympic GB’s medal machine Sarah Storey is riding last in the women’s C4-5 500m time trial, looking to add a second gold to the one she won in the individual pursuit. Her husband Barney won a gold medal of his own as he piloted Neil Fachie to glory. earlier today, have a husband and wife ever won Paralympic gold on the same day before?
1502: Sweet relief for world record holder Arlen, who will face off against Britain’s golden girl Ellie Simmonds. That is going to be one heck of a final, I don’t know about you but I’m excited.
1552: Redemption of sorts for Jody Cundy, remember him? He was the British cyclist who was disqualified for a false start in the time trial yesterday, but today he finally got his hands on a medal. It’s not the color he wanted, but Cundy has a bronze in the individual C4 pursuit after destroying Colombia’s Diego German Duenas Gomez in the third-place race. Big smiles and who can blame him after the 24 hours he’s had?