First medals up for grabs

Jessica Long, favorite for the gold medal 100 m butterfly

LONDON, England ‚óŹ The first day of competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games will see 28 gold medals won across five sports.

Athletes will be battling for titles in Track Cycling, Judo, Powerlifting, Shooting and Swimming, with the first medals of the Games to be won in the women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing – SH1.

British shooter Deanna Coates is the favourite there, while M Korhan Yamac of Turkey will have his sights set on the men’s 10m Air Pistol – SH1 title.

In Swimming alone there are 15 gold medals at stake, with big names in action.

Seven-times Paralympic gold medallist Jessica Long of USA is the defending champion, 2010 world champion and world record-holder in the women’s 100m Butterfly – S8, while Jonathan Fox of Great Britain and Croatia’s Mihovil Spanja continue their rivalry in the 100m Backstroke – S7.

In the men’s -48kg Powerlifting, Yakubu Adesokan of Nigeria is one to watch – he lifted a world record 177kg at the Fazza Powerlifting Championships, sealing his qualification for London with ease.

There are five gold medals to be won in Track Cycling on the first day. The Australian women, who dominated the medal table in the Individual Pursuit at the World Championships, will face strong competition from the USA and Netherlands.

In the men’s Individual 1km Time Trial for riders in classifications C1 to C3, the battle will be between Mark Lee Colbourne (C1) and Darren Kenny (C3) of Great Britain, Argentina’s Rodrigo Fernando Lopez (C1) and Xie Hao (C2) of China.

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