Paralympics 2012: Josie Pearson wins discus gold for Great Britain

Josie Pearson
Josie Pearson

Josie Pearson threw Great Britain to further London 2012 Paralympic glory with discus gold, as the host nation improved their medal haul on day nine.

Pearson, 26, broke the world record three times in her F51 class on Friday to clinch GB's 10th athletics gold.

Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley became the first women to claim a wheelchair tennis medal with bronze.

Medal table
Medal table as of 7 September (23:50 BST)

GB's 4x100m medley relay team won silver in the pool, while the men's and women's table tennis teams won bronze.

It is a first Paralympic gold for Pearson, who switched to disability sport following a car crash in 2003 which claimed the life of her boyfriend and left her with a broken back.

The Bristolian became the first woman to represent Great Britain in wheelchair rugby at Beijing 2008, before opting to concentrate on athletics in 2009.

She had initially trained as a track athlete but became frustrated with her lack of progress and focused on the throwing events instead.

She was rewarded with gold courtesy of a record-breaking throw of 6.58m.

Britain's Rachel Morris won bronze in handcycling after crossing the finish line hand-in-hand with team-mate Karen Darke at Brands Hatch, while former Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi won his second Paralympic gold with victory in the men's road race.

David Smith guaranteed his second Boccia medal of the Games for Britain with a semi-final victory in the BC1 singles while compatriot Stephen McGuire could still take bronze in the BC4 despite a heavy defeat at the ExCeL.

In table tennis, Will Bayley, Ross Wilson and Aaron McKibbon won the class 6-8 bronze with a 3-0 win over Germany, while Sara Head and Jane Campbell clinched the class 1-3 in five matches against Italy.

Shuker and Whiley took doubles bronze at Eton Manor by beating Thailand's Sakhorn Khanthasit and Ratana Techamaneewat in three sets.

Later on Friday, 21-year-old Mickey Bushell failed to add the T53 200m crown to the 100m gold which he won on Monday as he finished fourth. Richard Whitehead, following his 200m success, finished seventh in the T42 100m.

Irish sprinter Jason Smyth completed a superb sprint double by winning the 200m T13 event in a new world record time to add to his 100m T13 victory on Saturday.

In the pool, Heather Frederiksen, Claire Cashmore, Stephanie Millward and Louise Watkin grabbed silver in a thrilling 4x100m 34 points medley relay.

Britain's Sascha Kindred was disqualified in the S6 50m butterfly following an illegal leg kick while South African Natalie du Toit ended her swimming career with defeat by Australian Ellie Cole in the S9 100m freestyle final.

Meanwhile, Dutch wheelchair tennis player Esther Vergeer eased to her fourth Paralympic women's singles title with her 470th consecutive victory.

Britain are second in the overall medals table and only China and Russia have earned more podium finishes in athletics. GB won only two gold medals in track and field events in Beijing 2008.

Prime Minister David Cameron is set to create a separate honours list for Britain's Olympians and Paralympians, rather than simply including them in the New Year's Honours, it was revealed.