2016 Paralympic Games

Chinese paddlers bring golds to the table

China's Yang Ge prepares to serve in the men's table tennis singles class 10 final against Patryk Chojnowski of Poland. He came from 1-2 down to win gold.
China's Yang Ge prepares to serve in the men's table tennis singles class 10 final against Patryk Chojnowski of Poland. He came from 1-2 down to win gold. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

RIO DE JANEIRO • China bagged five table tennis titles to extend their lead at the top of the Rio Paralympics medal tally on Monday.

The Asian giants secured 11 golds on the fifth day of competition, advancing their tally to 50 golds, 40 silvers and 28 bronzes. Britain is second and Ukraine third with 28 and 22 golds respectively.

Mao Jingdian revealed that a note scrawled on her hand was crucial as she retained her table tennis singles CL 8 title.

The 21-year-old needed just 18 minutes to defeat France's Thu Kamkasomphou 11-6, 11-8, 11-3 in the final at Riocentro.

"I wrote 'Be determined and confident' on the palm of my hand before my first game and I looked at it again last night, but it wasn't there any more so I wrote it again to remind myself and looked at it before the game," said Mao, whose impairment stems from a hip injury she suffered in 2005.

Compatriot Yang Ge beat Poland's Patryk Chojnowski in five gripping games (5-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8, 16-14) to clinch gold in the men's singles CL 10 category.

In one of the most impressive performances of the day, China's Li Guizhi set a world record to win gold in the women's 50m freestyle S11.

The 23-year-old swimmer, who is visually impaired, clocked 30.73sec to beat the previous record (30.83sec) held by Liesette Bruinsma of the Netherlands.

"I feel very happy because I have been training for a long time for this and it was very difficult for me," said Li, who won silver in the same event at London 2012.

"My coach helped me a lot because two months ago I had an accident. My toe broke and for 20 days I could not walk. My coach never gave up on me."

China's Pan Shiyun smashed his own world record to win gold in the men's 50m butterfly S7.

He touched the wall in 28.41sec to beat the previous mark of 29.49sec, which he set last year.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2016, with the headline 'Chinese paddlers bring golds to the table'. Print Edition | Subscribe