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Paralympics day four as it happened: Clifford collapses on track after silver medal win; Aussie sprinter offers to sell medal in exchange for bobsled funds

Thanks for joining along. An enormous day here in Tokyo full of Aussie action. T

Guess what? Tomorrow will be bigger.

ATHLETICS – From 10.30am AEST
Sarah Edmiston is a top three chance in the discus (F64), while Robyn Lambird is one to watch in the T34 100m. Four-time Paralympian Madison de Rozario, who came fifth in the 5000m today, has her 800m final (T53) in the evening at 8.10pm AEST.

BOCCIA – 12.55pm
Daniel Michel has his second individual match against Sweden’s Maria Bjurstrom.

ROWING – Medal races from 11.50 AEST
Australia has plenty of medal chances today, across the men’s single sculls (Erik Horrie) and the mixed coxes four (Niki Ayers, Thomas Birtwhistle, James Talbot and Alexandra Viney).

There are 13 gold medals on offer in the pool. Provided they get through their heats, Australia could have medals from Jake Michel and Paige Leonhardt in their respective SB14 100m events. Katja Dedekind is the favourite in the S13 50m freestyle, while Will Martin will be looking for another gold medal when he competes in the S9 50m freestyle.

I believe the great Vince Rugari is in the hotseat tomorrow, so be sure to log on for all the latest. Hooroo from Tokyo!

After winning the first game, Ma couldn’t get into his groove. By the fourth game his confidence was down and out as he lost 22 of the last 28 points.

Devos won 9-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-3.

Ma didn’t drop a match all tournament until now and has certainly won a few people over in his adopted after deciding to play for Australia instead of China.

Sunday will see dual Paralympian Samuel Von Einem take on world No.1 Peter Palos (HUN) at 6:45pm AEST in the class 11 singles final.

The Adelaide native is hoping to better his silver in Rio, after an epic five setter today saw him defeat Rio Paralympic gold medallist Florian Van Acker (BEL) in a thrilling five-setter. In the eight previous times the two have met, never has von Einem been able to secure a win.

Australia is sixth overall on the Paralympics medal tally at present, with 27 medals all up (seven gold, nine silver and 11 bronze).

He’s down 4-1 in fourth game. He’s down two games to one in a best of five match.

A quick walk across the park, I’m now here at the table tennis arena where Australia could have a gold medallist in the next half an hour.

Aged just five, Ma Lin lost his right arm after being bitten by a bear at a zoo near his home in provincial China in the mid 1990s.

The attack occurred when he tried to pat the bear through a narrow gap in the fence. While his severe injuries could have killed him and changed the course of his life, he has instead turned his misfortune into opportunity.

He’s playing on court now and has just taken the first game against Belgium’s Laurens Devos 11-9.


Ma Lin will go for gold tonight.

Ma Lin will go for gold tonight. Credit:Justin McManus

The Aussie finished 0.003 behind second place and said he was stoked with his time of 11.00.

“Amazing. I’m pretty pumped. In Rio I was very bitterly disappointed and you could read it over my face at the medal ceremony. I didn’t want to be there. People didn’t even think I was going to sit on the podium [here]. I’m really pumped.

“I knew I need to get a good start because that’s the best feature of my race, always has been. In that one I felt like I ran really well. I don’t think I could improve much that. I ran 11.7 two months ago flat out. To knock 0.7 seconds off in two months is awesome.”

Will he sell his bronze medal to fund his hopes of representing Australia at the Beijing Winter Olympics next year?

“I would love to be able to raise some funds for my bobsled team. I’ve just $40,000 worth of sleds this year to compete at a decent level. That’s out of my own pocket. If anybody out there wants to help me out, I’m happy to give them my bronze medal or any other medal for that medal. If they can fund my whole season I’ll give them all my medals.”

Hanlon (gold) came third in his 100m final.

Hanlon (gold) came third in his 100m final. Credit:Getty

The Steelers have suffered a 49-42 loss to the USA in their-semi final and will play for bronze tomorrow against Japan. Aussie captain Ryley Batt scored 25 tries in a match where the Steelers trailed at every break.

It’s the first time in 17 years Australia won’t play in the Paralympics wheelchair rugby gold medal match.

USA will play Great Britain for gold.

Grant Patterson left, and Ahmed Kelly, both of Australia, embrace after finishing third and second respectively in the Men’s SM3 150 metre Individual medley final at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre.

Grant Patterson left, and Ahmed Kelly, both of Australia, embrace after finishing third and second respectively in the Men’s SM3 150 metre Individual medley final at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre.Credit:Getty

There are two proud Aussies right now in the mixed zone at the Tokyo pool.

Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson: “Nine years ago if you said I’d be in a Paralympic final with the potential of winning a bronze medal I’d be like, ‘you’re joking’. I was always going to stick at it and be there and if an opportunity arose, I’d be there to snatch it up. It’s good to know all the hard work has paid off. When I didn’t make Rio that was very hard. To keep pushing on after that. It’s paid off.

“To be in a race and on a podium with one of your best mates is pretty special.

“We want to do the best we can to fit into society. I talk to my mates and I understand what we do is inspiring to people because we’re parts of our body. To us, it’s everyday life. We drive a car and go to work.

Ahmed Kelly: “Third time lucky for sure. It’s been a long journey. There are so many people involved in me being able to produce that medal performance. As athletes we always want to do better but I’ll take that silver medal on the day. It’s years and years of hard work. I can’t even begin to describe the effort and the things we’ve had to do to get to this level.

“I don’t think my story is any exception to any other Paralympic story. There are so many athletes here who have incredible stories. It’s just a dream to get here.

“[Scooter] has allowed me to be so driven in the pool. We’ve pushed each other. We balance each other with humour. We’ve had a wonderful journey getting into these Games.”

The Australian Steelers are trailing behind the USA 28-23 at half-time in the wheelchair rugby.

If we lose, Australia will go through to the bronze medal match tomorrow against Japan. If we win, we will be up against Great Britain for the gold medal tomorrow.

A huge moment!

That’s all from me on the blog. Tom Decent will be taking over for the recent of the night at the pool.

Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson and Ahmed Kelly, Australia’s two lads in the men’s 150m individual medley (SM3), have just won their first-ever Paralympic medals. What a story.

Ahmed, who grew up in an orphanage in Baghdad after being born with severely underdeveloped arms and legs, touches the wall in second.

As for Scooter, he finally has a Paralympic medal to his name after missing out on a podium finish in London and missing the team altogether in 2016. When I spoke to Scooter yesterday he was talking down his chances in this event, but his unique style was enough to get the job done.

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