Paralympics: NZ women claiming medals in Beijing

Sophie Pascoe
Sophie Pascoe
Women have won eight of New Zealand's nine medals at the Beijing Paralympics and the tally could increase again with teenager Sophie Pascoe taking to the pool again today along with Jessica Hamill in the javelin.

On day six of competition cyclist Paula Tesoriero gained her third medal of the event by taking a bronze in the road time trial.

Tesoriero was not able to stand on the dais to receive her medal as a result of heat exhaustion in blistering temperatures. She will spend a day in bed to recover fully from her ailment.

Tesoriero claimed the bronze with a ride of 45min 0.92 sec, taking her personal Beijing medal count to three after a gold and a bronze on the track.

The lower-leg amputee finished behind two Americans over the 24.8km distance.

Not to be outdone, the tandem team of blind cyclist Jayne Parsons and pilot Annaliisa Farrell also won a bronze in the road time trial competing in the B/VI (blind and visually impaired) event.

Parsons and Farrell completed the course in 38min 40.40 sec with Parson showing concern for her sighted partner.

"I didn't think she (Farrell) was going to make it. I thought I should take a drink and spit some water on her to keep her going during the race," Parsons said.

"It was very hot and it just seemed to get hotter and hotter...but we put everything into it and got it."

The pair had earlier finished fourth in the 1km time trial and were delighted to be in the medals. Straight after the race Farrell said "we are absolutely over the moon, we are rapt...it was great."

Annemarie Donaldson came eighth in the HCB 12.7km road time trial timing 32min 13.21sec with the event being won by Rachael Morris of Great Britain. Fellow New Zealander, Fiona Southorn, came seventh in her road time trial.

Meanwhile, defending champs the Wheelblacks have made life hard for themselves by losing their opening wheelchair rugby game.

They were beaten by one of their main rivals for the title, Great Britain, 38-39 in a game which could have gone either way.

The score was 9-9 after first quarter and then 16-16 at the first half break. By the time the game had reached the end of the third quarter Britain had moved to a 26-25 lead.

They scored the winning goal with 3.8 seconds remaining.

"We put ourselves under too much pressure throughout the game and then we had that opportunity right at the end it was just process and it didn't come through," said captain Dan Buckingham.

"We were throwing hail Marys and eventually you can't pull them off every time."

The team play Australia at 10pm (NZT) tonight. Australia won their first match 47-36 over Germany.

In athletics Matt Slade finished fourth in his 100m final in a time of 12.46sec, missing a bronze medal by 0.45sec, while shot putter Terry Faleva'ai finished his competition in 12th position.

Athletes to watch for on day seven include Tim Johnson in the 1500m final, Daniel Sharp in the 100m breaststroke and Donaldson in the road race. Pascoe competes in the 100m backstroke.

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