London: Australia’s Jacqueline Freney won her fifth gold of the Games in the stand-out performance of the day, after a row involving sprinter Oscar Pistorius overshadowed the sporting action.
World record holder Freney, who has cerebral palsy, took gold in a new Paralympic best of one minute 9.39 seconds in the S7 100m freestyle to add to her titles in the S7 50m butterfly, S7 100m backstroke and SM7 200m individual medley.
Then with teammates Ellie Cole, Madison Elliott and Katherine Downey, the 20-year-old added the women’s 4x100m freestyle 34 points relay, making it a clean sweep for the Aussies after the men’s team triumphed on Sunday.
In that race, Matthew Cowdrey bagged his 10th Paralympic title in a career spanning three Games, needing just one more gold to become his country’s most successful Paralympian.
“It’s absolutely incredible, I can’t explain how happy I am,” said Freney afterwards. “I’ve got eight events and my main one hasn’t even started yet, so these are just bonuses to me. Icing on the cake.”
Earlier Britain’s swim queen Ellie Simmonds won the women’s S6 200m individual medley in 3:5.39, breaking the world record she set in qualifying and adding to her S6 400m freestyle title.
Poland’s Natalia Partyka — one of only two Paralympians to compete at this year’s Olympics — won gold for the third consecutive Games in the women’s singles Class 10 table tennis.
On the track, El Amin Chentouf of Morocco smashed the world best by more than 30seconds in the T12 5,000m for visually impaired and blind athletes, finishing in 13min 53.77seconds.
Kenya’s Samwel Mushai Kimani, with guide runner James Boit, romped to a new world record of 3min 58.37 in the T11 1,500m, beating Brazil’s Odair Santos, who was also inside his previous world best of 4:03.66.
Wheelchair racer Ryan Martin of the US added the T52 400m to his 100m title while Ireland’s Michael McKillop outclassed the field to take the middle-distance double in the T37 1,500m for athletes with cerebral palsy.
China were way out in front in the overall medal table, crossing the 100 medal mark and nearing 50 gold.