LONDON, England ● It promises to be another memorable day at the Paralympic Games as athletes compete for medals in 50 events across seven different sports.
The Games’ first Archery medals are set to be handed out at The Royal Artillery Barracks and, after getting under way on the first day of competition at London 2012, finalists will be looking to come away with something after five days of competition.
In what looks set to be one of the day’s most hotly-contested events, Matt Stutzman, Guillermo Rodriguez Gonzalez, Dogan Hanci and Jere Forsberg battle it out for gold in the men’s Individual Compound – Open.
USA’s Stutzman, who holds the world record for the longest accurate shot with a bow, had to come through a tricky quarter-final against compatriot Dugie Denton to reach the final day of competition. The high-quality last-eight encounter saw the duo both hit eight 10s, with Stutzman scoring 143 out of a possible 150 for his aggregate score for the match and Denton getting 142.
As the pressure mounts, Stutzman insists he is well-versed in keeping cool in tense situations.
‘I train to keep cool,’ he said. ‘It’s not complicated. My coach says “pick a spot and aim at it”, so that’s what I do.
‘I’m told there’s been a lot of media interest, but I don’t read the papers. I am just in the zone now but I’ll read everything after the competition, so long as they’ve been saying nice things about me.’
In the Olympic Stadium, 18-year-old Raymond Martin of the USA, whose 400m -T52 season’s best is a staggering five seconds faster than any of his rivals, will be hoping to maintain his form and take his second gold medal of the Games.
Reigning champion Tomoya Ito of Japan is the only athlete in the discipline at London 2012 to have ever posted a faster time than Martin, but even he has struggled to keep pace with the Paralympic debutant this year.
Martin has already experienced gold-medal glory in the Olympic Stadium having won the men’s 100m – T52.
Spain’s David Casino will be hoping to hit the jackpot by defending his men’s Shot Put – F11/12 title in the early session. The 40-year-old already has three-of-a-kind having won gold in Sydney, Athens and Beijing, but will be hoping to continue his winning streak and improve his hand once again with victory in London.
Over at the Aquatics Centre, six-time Paralympic champion Sascha Kindred will be aiming to deliver a winning performance in home waters as he looks to claim his fourth consecutive 200m Individual Medley – SM6 title.
The 40-year-old will be all the keener to defend his title after missing out on a fourth 100m Breaststroke title on Saturday night.
Medals will also be up for grabs in Equestrian, Powerlifting, Shooting and Table Tennis.