By Sportswriter Yue Dongxing
BEIJING, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- The futuristic aquatic
venue Water Cube witnessed the tumble of 15 swimming world records at the
Beijing Paralympic Games here on Sunday.
Rudy Garcia Tolson, who refreshed the world record in
2 minutes 37.80 seconds at men's 200m individual medley SM7 in the morning's
heat, equaled his own mark in the finals and clinched the gold for the United
"I got some rest, I got some food and I mentally
prepared for the final race. It has been a great experience.
"I swam my best race, I really focused on my race,
not my competition, and not what's beside me. I definitely have more in the
tank." said the American.
In women's 100m butterfly S8, Rudy's compatriot
Amanda Everlove also updated the world record in the heat but failed to repeat
her good shape in the evening's final.
She finished second in 1:12.16, a shy of 0.48 seconds
for her morning's new world mark. Fortunately, her teammate Jessica Long wrapped
up the gold by a winning margin of 0.20 seconds.
The Americans showed their dominance in the women's
200m individual events. Miranda Uhl and Erin Popovich each shattered the world
record in SM6 and SM7 class successively. Four golds with four new records put
USA to the top of medal standings after Sunday's competitions.
For the hosts, Du Jianping's gold medal was much more
important than his world record breaking show. His victory in men's 100m
freestyle at S3 class gifted the hosts their first gold at the Beijing
The 25-year-old Du, who set a new Paralympic record
in the morning's heat at 1 minute and 42.95 seconds, took the winning time
further down to 1:35.21 in the finals, shaving 5.87 seconds of the former world
"I only won a silver last time, missing the gold,
which I had wanted badly for three years. This time I competed on the home
ground and it made me feel more excited and special," said the winner.
Du's harvest was also the hosts' only gold medal on
the first day of swimming contest. China took the second place on the gold medal
tally with one gold, four silvers and five bronzes.
Australia finished the third place with two silvers
less than China but their ace swimmer Peter Leek beat the host's favorite Wang
Xiaofu in men's 100m butterfly S8.
The in-form Aussie not only won the gold, also
refreshed the world record twice of the day.
"I knew I could break the record again. It was great,
I was feeling fairly nervous before the race.
"I have been waiting for this moment and it has
finally come. It has been very hard. It has been 18 years of hard work, but when
you win that Gold medal it feels like it all pays off." said the beaming winner
with tears swelling in the eyes after the clash.
The other eight new world records were created by
Patricia Valle of Mexico, Tamas Sors of Hungary (twice), Dmitry Kokarev of
Russia, Dzmitry Salei of Belarus, Daniel Dias of Britain, Teresa Maria Perales
of Spain, and Du Toit Natalie of South Africa.
Beijing Paralympic swimming competitions have
attracted 560 athletes in 81 men's and 59 women's events.
The nine-day contest, held at the National Aquatics
Centre "Water Cube", runs from September 7 to 15.