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Day 1 Roundup: Australia tops medal standings with 6 golds at Tokyo Paralympics

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Australian Paralympians won 10 medals on Day 1 to put their country on top of the Tokyo Paralympic medal tally, followed by China with eight medals, including five golds.

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Australia on Wednesday won six golds, topping the medal standings with 10 medals on the first day of the Tokyo Paralympics, while China is in the close second with five golds.

Cyclist Paige Greco bagged the first gold of the Games for Australia, winning the women's track cycling C1-3 3,000m individual pursuit event. Greco also refreshed the previous C3 class world record which she created in the qualification on the same day.

"It feels amazing," Greco said. "I still can't believe it. I keep looking down and seeing (the gold medal). It's not really sunk in yet."

Paige Greco of Australia competes during the women

It was the first of the 24 gold medals up for grabs on Wednesday as the Games kicked off after a year's delay due to COVID-19.

Medals were also awarded in swimming and wheelchair fencing.

China swept all the four golds in wheelchair fencing on Wednesday, bringing its medal total to eight.

Wheelchair fencer Li Hao beat Ukraine's Artem Manko to claim China's first gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics. This was also the first gold the 26-year-old won in his Paralympic debut.

"I wanted to try my best and what we practised as usual. I was just using my pace to get every point," Li said.

Later, Chinese swimmer Zhang Li won the fifth gold for the country in the women's 200m freestyle-S5, after a stunning late surge in the last 50m to beat Britain's Tully Kearney.

"I spent five years preparing for this. At the last turn I was able to see Tully Kearney, who was in the first place. I just told myself to go for it. I just kept chasing, and I finally was able to do it," Zhang said.

The 23-year-old first competed in the Rio 2016 Paralympics, taking home three golds.  

Gold medalist Zhang Li of China poses at the awarding ceremony after the women

Published : August 26, 2021