1008: Today allows us a first look at a sport unique to the Paralympics, Boccia. The sport is played by competitors in wheelchairs and was originally designed for those with cerebral palsy. Boccia, which made its Games debut in 1984, is very similar to the Winter Olympic sport of curling and involves players attempting to throw balls as close to a “jack” as possible.
1039: Kevin is talking about Sophie Pascoe, New Zealand's swimming darling who made it three medals in three days by taking gold in the 100m butterfly S10 in a world record time on 1:04.43. Pascoe hails from Christchurch, an area devastated by last year’s earthquake. The 19-year-old, who took home four medals from Beijing, trains in a pool which is due to be demolished.
1047: British fans will have teary-eyed memories of Mo Farah’s 5000m win at the Olympic Games, well the stadium could be about to witness more medal joy over the same distance. The women’s T54 5000m final features Shelly Woods, who is being heavily tipped for success, but the U.S. pair of Shirley Reilly and Amanda McGrory will certainly have their say.
1118: A little more on the Boccia, which starts today. Great Britain are the reigning champions having beaten Portugal in Beijing, so today’s group stage clash between the two countries will be something of a grudge match. It is North Korea, though, who are the world’s top ranked team. They begin their campaign against Ireland and Brazil.
1125: In the men’s 5-a-side football, Brazil have destroyed Turkey 4-0 at the Riverbank Arena. Star striker Jeferson Goncalves, or “Jefinho”, scored twice as the reigning champions eased to an emphatic victory despite missing three penalties. The sport is for athletes with varying degrees of visual impairment, but all players must wear blackout blindfolds to ensure fairness.
1153: You're in good company, Amy Brett. I was in pieces watching various Brits yesterday, I suspect a few more people might shed some tears before today is through. Here's a list of some of the finals coming up over the next hour, all times are London time:
1150: Men's discus F42
1200: Women’s -56kg powerlifting
1200: Mixed R4 air rifle standing SH2
1230: Table tennis men’s singles class 9
1156: The relay heats are underway in the Aquatics Centre. The selection is based on a points system, with each country allowed a team which adds up to 34 points. Less impaired athletes are given a higher points score, so the selection of the team and choosing the right tactics is essential.
12:10: Paralympic GB showing the benefit of having the team’s least impaired swimmer on the final leg, as S10 Robert Welbourn devoured the lead held by S6 Matthew Haanappel of Australia. The noise in the Aquatics Centre was something to behold.
1240: Would you like to hear from women’s F42/44 long jump gold medallist Kelly Cartwright? Of course you would. Here is the Australian:
“It was really tough because being in a combined class, you've got to look at the points, it's not just the distance. Some of those girls jumped so far and so well and it was pretty tough - one of the toughest competitions I've had.
"I was really nervous. I went to Beijing(2008) but this is a whole different game for me. I was coming in ranked in the top few and I wanted to come out and do well, and I did, and I can't even express how happy I am and how relieved I am at the same time.”
Cartwright can now take her medal back to her cat, who she loves spending time with. The cat, name unkown, is an amputee like it’s owner.
1354: It’s been a dream of a day for Paralympic GB’s Aled Davies, who threw his way to discus gold in front of an 80,000-strong crowd at the Olympic Stadium. Not bad for a man whose motto is “wing it”.
After winning a medal which brought the whole stadium to its feet, Davies, who can't use the muscles between his hip and foot, said:
"It was a tough competition. But I dug deep. I'm just speechless. It's surreal. It hasn't sunk in yet.
"I knew I was capable of breaking a world record (he broke the European record). I know what kind of form I'm in. I'm in good shape.
"This crowd is incredible. Everything here is phenomenal."
"It's sad to know that was my last event. This place is addictive. I've got a lot of love for this crowd. Everyone (his family) was in tears at the end - it made me cry.
"They've had to put up with all my mood swings so it's great to give something back."
1403: Today is also the final day of competition in the Velodrome, a fact which has rendered me thoroughly miserable. It is no exaggeration to say I am in love with that building and cannot begin to imagine my life without Paralympians or Olympians flying around that Siberian pine track. But all good things must come to an end. And what an end we are in for, here is the full rundown of Sunday’s finals:
1442: Women’s individual B pursuit
1459: Men’s individual B sprint
1533: Mixed C1-5 team pursuit
1425: The men’s individual sprint semifinals are underway in the Velodrome. The tandem bikes, which carry a Paralympian and a pilot, make for a fascinating viewing. The pilot is sighted, guiding the other rider around the track. The pilots have sparked a flurry of questions, with people curious to know how they are selected. Let me enlighten you! To qualify as a pilot for the Paralympics, you have to have not raced in international able-bodied cycling for at least two years. So Australia couldn’t select Anna Mears as a pilot and Britain couldn’t put Chris Hoy on the front of a bike. I hope that helps!
1438: It will be an all British final in the men’s individual B sprint, with the showdown set to begin in around 20 minutes time. Neil Fachie and pilot Barney Storey will go head-to-head with Anthony Kappes and pilot Craig MacLean.
1453: Some interesting stats from LOCOG director of sport Debbie Jevans, prepare yourself for some very large numbers:
"364 medals have been won by athletes from 49 countries. We've also completed 117 of the 503 events that there are on the programme. At the Olympic Games we had 46 new world records, and already at the Paralympic Games we've had 89 new world records.
"Today (Sunday) is our biggest day for medals so far. We have 60 gold medals up for grabs today in eight sports, and 21 of those will be in athletics, 14 in swimming and today there are 11 medals in table tennis.
"The total ticketed attendance yesterday (Saturday) was 259,000 people. Of those, there have been 193,000 people in Olympic Park, and we've had 22,000 people in ExCeL."
1513: The all-British individual B sprint final is underway in the Velodrome. Both pairs are out of the gate, the first race in the best-of-three contest has begun…
1517: Race one to Anthony Kappes and pilot Craig MacLean, Neil Fachie and his pilot Barney Storey have it all to do now. One more win for Kappes and MacLean gives them gold.
1527: So, 17 gold medals down, 43 to go. A mind-blowing number. How do you fit 43 gold medals in between now and the end of the day? Madness. Still, all the more Paralympic action for us to enjoy! Still waiting for race two in the men’s individual sprint final.