All the action from day six of the Tokyo Paralympics.
Kiwis in action:
8.14pm: Swimming: Men’s 100m Backstroke (S9), final: Jesse Reynolds
8.21pm: Swimming: Women’s 100m Backstroke (S9), final: Sophie Pascoe
10.14pm: Athletics: Men’s Long Jump (T36), final: William Stedman
World record holder Sophie Pascoe has qualified third fastest for tonight’s S9 100m backstroke final.
Her heat was won by fastest qualifier, American Hannah Aspden who won bronze in Rio. Aspden was over two seconds outside Pascoe’s record, set in 2019.
Pascoe, who has been reclassified to the S9 (more disabled), having swum S10 at previous Olympics, will face all of the medal winners from Rio in tonight’s final, which starts at 8.21pm.
Spain’s Nuria Soto easily beat Australian Ellie Cole in the other heat.
Hamilton’s Jesse Reynolds qualified sixth fastest for tonight’s final in the S9 100m backstroke.
He was third in a fast S9 100m backstroke heat, nearly two seconds behind easy winner Timothy Hodge of Australia.
World record holder Bogdan Mozgovoi of Russia was pipped by Yahor Schalkanau of Belarus in the other heat but remains the favourite for tonight’s showdown at 8.14pm.
Kiwi shooter misses medals
Meanwhile, veteran Paralympian Michael Johnson has missed out on the medals in the final of the Mixed 10m Air Rifle Standing SH2 event.
Competing in his fifth Games, one of only three Kiwi athletes to ever do so, Johnson failed to maintain a high enough average in the final, eventually eliminated in sixth place overall.
Johnson entered the final in strong form, qualifying with the second-highest average score in his heat.
However, he failed to carry that form through to the final as he averaged 10.438, after qualifying at a rate of 10.562.
Earlier, Johnson had talked about the experience of competing in his first major event in over two years, saying it was surprisingly taxing.
“I felt pretty good yesterday in my pre-event training but then today the nervousness and being out of the international competition for a couple of years must’ve got to me,” Johnson said after qualifyiung for the final.
“Man, I got super overheated with nerves. Being a tetraplegic you don’t regulate the body temperature as well so I was getting super hot.”
The 47-year-old Johnson has claimed a gold and two bronze medals over the course of a Paralympic shooting Para sport career that began with gold in Athens in 2004. He also has two World Championships to his name.
Johnson will have two further opportunities to add to his medal tally when he competes in the Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone event on Wednesday and the Mixed 50m Rifle Prone event on Saturday.
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