(ATR) Veronika Vadovicova of Slovakia is the first gold medalist of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Although it was not the first medal event to finish, the R2 - women’s 10m air rifle medalists were the first to receive their medals from IPC president Philip Craven.
China took both silver and bronze in the event as athletes Cuiping Zhang and Yaping Yan joined Vadovicova on the podium.
Vadovicova now has a gold Paralympic medal to add to her two bronzes earned at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 in the women’s 10m air pistol and the women’s 50m air rifle respectively.
First Athletics Medal Event Disputed
The first medal event of the day took place at the Olympic Stadium with the men’s T11 5,000m run. The T11 classification is for Paralympians who are blind. Many of the athletes use a guide who is tied to their hands with lace to help them stay on track.
Although the first medal event to be contested, the medal ceremony for the athletes was not set to occur until more than an hour after the competition. However, the ceremony was further delayed due to a dispute in the results.
Brazilian runner Odair Santos challenged the fact that Kenya's Samwel Kimani edged him in the final sprint to the finish to win gold. The competition committee deliberated the result for five hours before coming to the conclusion that Kimani did in fact win the race.
An IPC Athletics spokesperson tells Around the Rings the medal ceremony will now take place at 5:22 pm local time.
The delay led to the men’s F12 shot put medalists being awarded the first athletics medals of these Games. Kim Lopez Gonzalez of Spain won gold while Saman Pakbaz of Iran took silver and Roman Danyliuk of Ukraine earned bronze.
The grandstands of the Olympic Stadium were filled with fans who cheered loudly for their athletes. None received more applause than men’s T11 long jump gold medalist Ricardo Costa de Oliveira. Watch the video of his winning jump below:
It was a decent turnout for day one of competition although there were no fans seated in the upper decks of the stadium. However, there are more than 700,000 tickets left to be sold for the final 10 days of competition and organizers expect that number to decrease rapidly now that the Games are underway.
Records Fall on Day One
Lisha Huang of China set the first world record in athletics at Rio 2016 with a time of 16.19 seconds in the women's T53 (wheelchair) 100m. Huang broke her own previous world record in the first qualifying heat of the competition.
Athanasios Konstantinidis of Greece also set a new world record with a 10.39m throw in men’s F32 shot put – a classification for athletes who have moderate to sever hypertonia, ataxia and/or athetosis affecting all four limbs. Konstantinidis set the record twice in the event, first throwing a 10.09m before besting that by 0.3 meters on his final throw.
Omara Durand of Cuba set a new Paralympic record in the women's T12 (visual impairment) 100m run with a time of 11.58 seconds.
Midway through the first day of competition 19 countries are on themedal table with China leading all countries with three medals.
Written by Kevin Nutley at the Olympic Stadium in Engenhão.
Forgeneral comments or questions, click here.
20 Years at #1: Your best source of news about theOlympics is AroundTheRings.com, for subscribersonly.