Day 8 Paralympics review: Ballard secures silver and Gliders to face Germany in final
7 September 2012
University of Sydney student Angela Ballard broke an Australian record at the London 2012 Paralympics on Thursday to win silver in the T53 200m athletics event.
Ballard, who won a bronze in the 100m earlier in the week, recorded a time of 29.35 seconds to split the Chinese duo of Lisha Huang and Hongzhuan Zhou, who won gold and bronze respectively.
The psychology honours student and former Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder has a chance to make it a hat-trick of medals when she competes in the T53 400m during the final weekend of Paralympics competition.
Away from the athletics track, a number of other University of Sydney athletes are in contention for medals as London's sporting summer draws to a close.
The Australian women's basketball team, helped by four-point individual contributions from University of Sydney athletes Sarah Stewart and Katie Hill, squeezed past the United States to set up a gold medal showdown against Germany.
Philosophy PhD student Stewart is a Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF) Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder, and Sydney Uni WheelKings and Wheelchair Flames representative. Hill is also a Sydney Uni WheelKings and Wheelchair Flames player.
The United States had defeated Australia at the same semi-final stage of the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, but this time around the Gliders survived a last-gasp shot from American Rose Hollermann to claim a nail bitting 40-39 victory.
The Australians had taken control of the match with a 10-0 run in the third period, holding their rivals without a basket for more than nine minutes but had to withstand a last-quarter fightback by the defending champions.
After trailing 38-28 heading into the fourth period, the United States enjoyed a purple patch with Rebecca Murray scoring six of her game-high 18 points. Australia were held scoreless for more than seven minutes until Clare Nott broke the drought - which proved to be the decisive score.
With 27 seconds left, the United States moved within a single point. To add to the drama, Australia's Amber Merritt missed two free throws, but Hollermann could not capitalise.
The Gliders will now take on Germany in the gold medal match at the North Greenwich Arena on Saturday morning (Australia time).
Three-time Paralympian and Sydney Uni Swim Club (SUSC) member Prue Watt will hope to add to the bronze medal she won in the women's S13 50m freestyle earlier in the week when she competes in the 200m individual medley SM13 and 100m breaststroke SB13. Sarah Rose will also be in action at the London Aquatic Centre over the weekend, competing in the 50m butterfly S6.
Katrina Porter, a EAP scholarship holder and SUSC High Performance Multiclass swim program representative, finished in seventh place in the women's 400m freestyle S7 on Thursday. In the same race fellow Australian Jacqueline Freney moved relentlessly towards a clean sweep of medals in her London 2012 campaign, winning her seventh gold.
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