Ending on a high note

By Gary Norris Gray, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: June 4, 2010

CALIFORNIA (BASN) — The world’s disabled athletes felt right at home in Manchester, England. The games came to a close as most contestants wanted it to continue.

The Paralympics World Cup ended with a record-breaking swimming competition.

A few days earlier the basketball tournament concluded with a few upsets and great competitive games. The British men’s team defeated a strong Canadian team 54-42 home cooking seemed an unfair advantage to the men in Canadian red.

Jon Pollack scored 17 points as Ian Sager scored 12 points for Great Britain. The Canadians fought hard with David Eng’s 13 points in a second half rush but could never catch the Brits in this game.

The USA men’s team beat Germany 54-50 and then beat Great Britain 63-41 in the first round but it was not enough to get into the medal round. The Americans will run fast break you to death if allowed.

They.still need to improve their inside power game to compete against the world.

The feisty women’s Australian basketball team upset Great Britain 59-24. Injuries plagued Great Britain the whole week and they could not win a game. They qualified for the sixth time, but this was not fun. Janet McLachlen and the strong Canadians beat the upstart Netherlands 64-46 to take this year’s crown.

Soccer

The Netherlands beat Ireland 3-2 for the World Cup football victory. The Dutch remained undefeated in this year’s tournament surprising beating both England and Canada within a week.

The Dutch won with strong defensive play. The famous orange and white beat the orange and green for the Paralympics Cup Championship in 2010.

Swimming

England‘s Ellie Simmonds took the water championships by storm. The 15-year-old broke her own record in the 200 meters by .08 seconds. Her teammate Natalie Jones took the Silver and China‘s Fuying Jiang took the bronze.

Wales swimmer Nyree Lewis took the 100 meter backstroke in the S-5 division and set a world record 1.26.87. Charlotte Hanshaw from England won the MD division with another world record 1.39.56 in the breaststroke.

The Chinese women’s pair of Shanang Jiang and Yanru Xu took first and second place in the 50 meters freestyle. American Amanda Everlove came in third place.

On the men’s side, Sam Hynd from Scotland won the 400 meter freestyle and set a world record in the S-8 division. Matt Walker and Dave Roberts continued their rivalry in the pool Walker beat Roberts in the S-7 50 meter freestyle.

These two men have been competing against each other for years. They meet in Beijing two years ago when Roberts beat Walker. Great Britain won 16 swimming medals with ten gold.

Track and field

South Africa‘s Oscar Pistorius stole the show last week with his cheetah legs. He won the 100 meters, 400 meters, and defeated Britain‘s Ian Jones in the 100 meter match race.

This was a repeat of the anticipated grudge race of two years ago at the Beijing games. Pistorius can claim to be the fastest man with no legs.

Maybe a future race between Pistoris and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt the fastest man with legs would be in order next year. That would certainly get the world’s disabled athletes media attention.

Marcel Hug from Switzerland upset David Weir (England) in the 800 Meters and 1500 meter wheelchair races.

On the women’s side the English and Canadians dominated the games this year. Too bad the Maple Leaf contingent competed for the America‘s Team and not the British Commonwealth Team. The Great Britain Team would have beaten the World Team with the Canadians on their side.

United Kingdom‘s Libby Clegg won the 100 meters while Canadian Tracy Hinton won the 200 meters.U.S. star Tatyana McFadden won both the 800 meter and 1500 meter over England‘s Shelly Woods.

The World Team won this tournament with 120 medals, while European Team gathers 110 medals, Great Britain came in third, with the America’s Team bringing up the cows tail with 65 medals.

This is the first time the Para-World Cup competed under this new format and most contestants loved it. They formed new team friendships that will be lasting.