Today in a nutshell: Japan closed out the sporting action with a flurry of medals, there were two more medals for ParalympicsGB and double team success for the US, which was just enough to position the Americans above the athletes of the Russian Paralympic Committee in the final medal table.
Tomorrow’s key moments: Ummmmm – it’s Monday morning and there’s no Paralympics left.
Misato Michishita won the women’s T12 marathon for the hosts, crossing the finish line in the Olympic Stadium in scenes that would have been even more incredibly emotional had there been a Japanese crowd there to cheer her own. Nevertheless it provided a fitting end to the athletics in a Paralympics that has been held in Tokyo in such difficult circumstances.
El-Amin Chentouf retained his Rio 2016 men’s T12 marathon title for Morocco, setting a new Paralympic record and finishing over four minutes ahead of the rest of the field. It made up for some of his disappointment from earlier in the Games, when the former Paralympic champion in the men’s T12 5000m failed to finish in the Tokyo final.
Switzerland’s Marcel Hug was again at his unstoppable best as he claimed gold in the men’s T54 marathon. He and the eventual silver medallist, Zhang Yong from China, broke away as a pair early on and worked together to keep the rest of the chasing pack at bay, with Hug eventually striking out alone to win by 20 seconds. Daniel Romanchuk of the US was third, over five minutes behind Hug, and 13 seconds ahead of Canada’s Brent Lakatos, who has been selected as Canada’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremony.
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The briefing’s picture of the day
The very last medal of the Tokyo Paralympics went to the Japanese pairing of Akiko Sugino and Daisuke Fujihara, with a bronze in the badminton mixed doubles SL3-SU5.
🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧 ParalympicsGB update
Bronze for Great Britain in basketball and badminton finished off a medal-laden campaign at the Tokyo Paralympics. ParalympicsGB were on the podium 124 times and were only bettered by the incredible steamroller of China’s 207 medal haul.
The penultimate British medal went to the Great Britain men’s wheelchair basketball team. They beat Spain 68-58 in the bronze medal play-off to match their third-place finish from Rio. Gaz Choudhry was top scorer, registering 19 points, with Terry Bywater adding 14.
Krysten Coombs then added another bronze with a win in his badminton play-off, beating Brazil’s Vitor Goncalves Tavares 12-21 21-10 21-16 in the SH6 bronze medal match, the first time the sport had been played at the Games. Coombs said: “Being here has been amazing but to come away with a medal is brilliant. I’m shocked and overwhelmed. Having the sport at the Paralympics will do so much for it all over the world.”
David Weir finished fifth in the men’s T54 marathon, and afterwards he said: “I left everything possible out on that course today so I’m just absolutely knackered now. I couldn’t try any harder. I need to go back home and reflect on what I want to do. It has been a long five years for me, I’ve had my dark moments where I didn’t want to be here so to get here is just a mission. I’m proud of myself. I haven’t been emotional, but today I knew I would be because I don’t know if it is the end or not.”
🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺 Australia update
Madison de Rozario ensured it would be a golden final day of the Paralympics for Australia with victory in the women’s T54 marathon. It was the 21st Australian gold of the Games. She later told Channel Seven: “It’s the greatest thing I’ve done in my life. I didn’t thank that would be the result going in. I knew it was a flat course. I was a little bit intimidated doing another race on the road in Tokyo, particularly in the rain.”
There was another marathon medal as well – Jaryd Clifford and his guides Vincent Donnadieu and Tim Logan finished second in the men’s T12 marathon.
🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 Team USA update
The USA went into the final day with two team finals ahead of them – and came out with both gold. First the women’s sitting volleyball team defeated China 3-1 in the final of that competition in the last action at the Makuhari Messe.
Then, over at the Ariake Arena, it was the turn of the men’s wheelchair basketball team to strike gold. They narrowly beat hosts Japan 64-60 in a tightly contested final. Captain Steve Serio said: “Japan was the Cinderella story of this tournament but you couldn’t ask for a more storybook ending for us. We were up against a great team, in their home country, their home stadium, and we had a performance like this.”
🇯🇵🇯🇵🇯🇵 The hosts and beyond
The last gold medal on the shooting range went to Slovakia’s Veronika Vadovicova, with Sweden’s Anna Normann and Spain’s Juan Antonio Saavedra Reinaldo taking silver and bronze in the mixed 50m rifle prone SH1 final.
The other marathon this morning was the men’s T45 race. Li Chaoyan of China was able to retain his Rio title in the event, finishing ahead of Brazilian runner Alex Douglas Pires da Silva and Japan’s Tsutomo Nagata. Australia’s Michael Roeger came sixth, with Derek Rae of ParalympicsGB in ninth.
The closing ceremony
I always think that a Paralympics closing ceremony has got a tough job. At the Olympics closing ceremony, there’s always that feeling of “Oh well, this isn’t goodbye, the Paralympics start up again in a couple of weeks”. That isn’t the case here – Tokyo really is saying goodbye. But also, it is the fourth big entertainment number that’s been put on in the stadium in the space of a few weeks, and what is there left to surprise the audience with? Especially as the ceremonies have taken place without crowds.
The presence of the athletes is always key though, and although it was a scaled back parade, participants from the Games themselves were roped into assembling some of the host city’s famous landmarks as the ceremony tried to bring Tokyo to the stadium. If a pandemic means you can’t get out to visit the city while at the Paralympics, then Japan will bring the city to you.
There was also a strong message about disability rights, with the #WeThe15 campaign appearing again, and part of the ceremony was the presentation of the I’mPOSSIBLE awards to schools and people who have “contributed to a more inclusive world through the Paralympic Movement.”
Key events for Monday 6 September
Oh no. The next thing I’ve got in my diary is the Mixed doubles round robin session 1 of the curling at 8.05pm Beijing time on Wednesday 2 February 2022, a couple of days ahead of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony on Friday 4 February. What are we going to do until then?
As it finished
Here’s how the emoji table finished at the Tokyo Paralympics. Hosts Japan finished just outside the top ten in eleventh place, with 13 golds, 15 silver and 23 bronze – 51 medals in total.
1 🇨🇳 China 🥇 96 🥈 60 🥉 51 total: 207
2 🇬🇧 Great Britain 🥇 41 🥈 38 🥉 45 total: 124
3 🇺🇸 USA 🥇 37 🥈 36 🥉 31 total: 104
4 ◻️ Not Russia 🥇 36 🥈 33 🥉 49 total: 118
5 🇳🇱 Netherlands 🥇 25 🥈 17 🥉 17 total: 59
6 🇺🇦 Ukraine 🥇 24 🥈 47 🥉 27 total: 98
7 🇧🇷 Brazil 🥇 22 🥈 20 🥉 30 total: 72
8 🇦🇺 Australia 🥇 21 🥈 29 🥉 30 total: 80
9 🇮🇹 Italy 🥇 14 🥈 29 🥉 26 total: 69
10 🇦🇿 Azerbaijan 🥇 14 🥈 1 🥉 4 total: 19
Get in touch
Thanks for following along with both the Olympics and the Paralympics with me in our daily briefing. It’s been an immense pleasure to get so many lovely emails from people being positive about our coverage. I’ll be back tomorrow with a retrospective of the Paralympics and a detailed breakdown of the emoji table. Don’t forget you can get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let me know your favourite moments, and I may well feature them tomorrow.
The last word
It is an unbelievable honour to be leading out the ParalympicsGB team at the Paralympic Games closing ceremony. Not only am I representing the sport that I love, but the wider ParalympicsGB team too. I am proud to be the face of the athletes that are here, and also those who have already returned home. I have received so much support over these last 12 days, this honour is for every one of them: athletes, support staff and British fans alike. – Boccia champion David Smith on being selected as the British flag-bearer for the closing ceremony