Australian track and field star Madison de Rozario has ended her long wait for a Paralympic gold medal with a dominant performance in the women’s T53 800 metres in Tokyo.
- Madison de Rozario won gold in the women’s 800m T53 final on the track
- Australia also collected silver and bronze medals in the athletics program on day five
- Silver and bronze medals were added to the tally in swimming, table tennis, rowing and triathlon
De Rozario’s victory has Australia in eighth place on the medal tally after day five, with eight gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze.
A three-time Paralympic silver medallist, de Rozario took the lead just after 400m in Sunday night’s final at the Olympic Stadium and pulled clear for a convincing win.
She clocked 1 minute and 45.99 seconds to break the Paralympic record and secure Australia’s eighth Tokyo gold medal.
De Rozario, the world record holder and reigning world champion, beat China’s Zhou Hongzhuan by 1.67 seconds, with Swiss Catherine Debrunner taking the bronze.
Six-time Paralympian Angie Ballard finished seventh and legendary wheelchair racer Louise Sauvage, who coaches de Rozario, was also trackside.
“They (Ballard and Sauvage) are two women who have been there every single point of my career, but also of my life,” de Rozario told the Seven Network.
De Rozario, a four-time Paralympian, won silver in the 800m and 4x400m relay at the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016.
She first took silver in the 4x100m relay at the 2008 Beijing Games.
De Rozario finished fifth two days ago in the T53 5,000m.
She will next race the 1T54 500 on Monday and then the T54 marathon next Sunday on the last day of the Games.
Isis Holt added another silver to her collection after finishing second in the women’s 200m T35 final.
Holt, who won silver in the 100m, clocked a personal best time of 27.94.
China’s Zhou Xia completed the sprint double, winning the 200m in a world record of 27.17 seconds.
In the earlier session in the athletics program on Sunday, 45-year-old grandmother Sarah Edmiston took bronze in the women’s F64 discus with a throw of 37.85m.
Fellow West Australian athlete Robyn Lambird also won bronze in the women’s T34 100m, clocking a season-best time of 18.68 seconds.
Aussies claim more silver
Swimmer Jake Michel had a near-perfect Games debut when he was narrowly beaten in the final of the men’s SB14 100m breaststroke.
Japan’s Naohide Yamaguchi broke his world record to win in 1:03.77, with Michel was 0.51 of a second behind for the silver medal.
Australia picked up another silver in the pool, finishing second to Italy in the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay 34 points.
Meanwhile, Sam Von Einem won his second-straight Games silver medal, losing 3-2 to Hungarian Peter Palos in the Class 11 table tennis gold-medal match.
The Australian saved two match points before going down 11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9.
Also on Sunday, Lauren Parker took silver in the PTWC triathlon, finishing second to American Kendall Gretsch by just 0.01 of a second.
Gretsch overtook the Australian within metres of the finish line.
Erik Horrie won his third Paralympic silver medal in the single sculls, making history as the first rower to win three medals at the Games.
The Steelers’ Paralympic campaign ended in disaster with a 60-52 torching from Japan in their bronze-medal game — the first time they have missed out on the medals since 2004.
The Rollers’ unbeaten start to the Games ended on Sunday when the United States thumped them 66-38 in wheelchair basketball.