Poles win 36 medals at Paralympic Games in London
Polish disabled sportsmen and sportswomen brought 14 golden, 13 silver and nine bronze medals from the London 2012 Paralympic Games that ended on Saturday night, many more than their able-bodied colleagues recently won at the London 2012 Summer Olympics (two, two and six respectively).
This is the biggest event of this kind since 1960 when summer Paralympic Games were organized for the first time. This year a record number of 4,200 athletes from over 160 countries competed across 471 different events.
Natalia Partyka, who took part in her fourth Paralympic Games secured her third gold in the women's class 10 table tennis. Other “Golden” Polish women competing in London included Barbara Niewiedzial, who won in the 1500m race, Karolina Kucharczyk, who leapt into the first place in the long jump and Joanna Mendak being best in 100m butterfly swimming.
Meanwhile, Ewa Durska, who was World Champion last year in the shot put, took gold once again this year.
Grzegorz Pluta and Dariusz Pender fought their way to victory in the wheelchair fencing men's individual epee category. Mateusz Michalski took gold in the 200m race while Maciej Lepiato triumphed in high jump. Two golden medals for Poland were won by cyclist Rafal Wilk in the men's individual H3 time trial and handbike.
The 1500m race category turned out to be dominated by Polish women, as Arleta Meloch secured silver just behind her colleague Niewiedzial. Other Polish women who came second in their categories included Alicja Fiodorow in 200m race, Katarzyna Piekart in javelin, Oliwia Jablonska in 100 m butterfly swimming and cyclist Anna Harkowska who took three silver medals in the games.
Sprinter Mateusz Michalski won silver in the 100 m race for the visually impaired whereas Mariusz Sobczak leapt into second place in the long jump. Shot-putters Janusz Rokicki and Karol Kozun grabbed another two silver medals for Poland while cyclist tandem of Krzysztof Kosikowski and Artur Korc was in the second position on the podium.
Other silver medals for Poland were won by Daniel Pek in the 1500 m race as well as Patryk Chojnowski and Sebastian Powrozniak in the team table tennis, a discipline which also saw the success of Polish women Partyka, Alicja Eigner and Malgorzata Jankowska who came third.
Other Poles who fought their way to a bronze included Alicja Fiodorow in 400 m race, Paulina Wo¼niak in 100 m breaststroke swimming, Milena Olszewska in archery, Marta Makowska in wheelchair fencing, Rafal Korc in 1500m race, Tomasz Blatkiewicz in discus, Tomasz Rebisz in shot put and Lukasz Mamczarz in high jump.
The London 2012 Paralympics turned out a huge commercial success. Nearly three million tickets were sold, more by around one million than for the games in Beijing four years ago. The Olympic Stadium in East London was full with around 80,000 spectators each night and the event was broadcast in more countries than any other previous Games.