Fat lady takes Newman's silver

2008-09-08 22:36

Wilhelm de Swardt

Beijing - Nicholas Newman was the proud "winner" of a silver medal and "holder" of a world record in the javelin for three minutes at the Paralympic Games here on Monday.

Then the adage about the show not being over until the fat lady sings, and that nothing can be taken for granted, was proven correct.

Newman, who is competing in the F35 class, recorded a 42.48 m last throw.

It was a world record. But then the Polish athlete Pawel Piotrowski picked up his javelin and started walking back for his next throw.

When he launched his javelin, everyone realised that this was a big one. The tape stretched to 42.88m - 40cm further than Newman's best distance.

With that Piotrowski won the silver medal and Newman had to settle for bronze. China's Wei Guo won the gold medal with a throw of 56.07m.

But Newman, a cerebral handicapped competitor, wasn't disappointed. "I gave it my best. He threw further than I did. It's a case of the best athlete having won. In any case, world records are there to be broken.

"This isn't the end. It's like a boxing match. Piotrowski and Guo won today's round, but I know I can fight back. If nothing goes wrong, I still have at least two Paralympic Games ahead of me. I can still win gold."

The chances are good that Oscar Pistorius will win the 100m event in the T44 class at 11:52 (South African time) on Tuesday. It is the one sprint he could not win at the Athens Games. He came third.

Pistorius won his heat in a Paralympic record time of 11.16sec on Monday evening. He was more than 0.32sec faster than his closest rivals.

The good news is that Arnu Fourie has also made it through to the finals. He was fourth in his heat with a time of 12.05.

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