Simmonds and Baker steal the show

  • Last Updated: September 3 2012, 22:34 BST

Swimmer Ellie Simmonds and dressage rider Natasha Baker took centre-stage as double British gold medallists on day five of the Paralympic Games.

Natasha Baker: Struck gold

Simmonds received her second gold of the Games from Prime Minister David Cameron after she broke her own world record set in the SM6 200 metres individual medley heats just hours earlier.

Baker, meanwhile, won the Grade II freestyle competition at Greenwich Park with a Paralympic record score of 82.800%, adding another title to her individual crown collected just 48 hours earlier.

But there was no British record-equalling 11th gold for her colleague Lee Pearson in the Grade Ib freestyle, as he had to settle for bronze in a class won emphatically by Austrian Pepo Puch.

While Cameron was not greeted with universal applause on being introduced prior to the medal ceremony for Simmonds' race, any boos were drowned out by the raucous cheers.

It was not the first time the Walsall swimmer had met the Prime Minister and she said: "I've met him at his house, in number 10. It's great to meet him in my place, really, at the pool.

"I don't really remember much, but being on the podium was just an amazing atmosphere and an amazing experience really, to be on it second time running.

"To have that atmosphere, it's just unbelievable. I don't want it to end at all. I'm on a high all the time."

Natalie Jones was third behind her ParalympicsGB team-mate Simmonds, while Sascha Kindred finished second in the men's equivalent despite dipping under his old world record and Susie Rodgers won bronze in the S7 100m freestyle on her Paralympic debut, which she later matched as part of the women's 4x100m (34pts) freestyle relay.

Pearson, meanwhile, put any personal disappointment he might have felt to one side when he hailed Baker as "a superstar" after her latest triumph.

Baker and Cabral faced tough competition in the 20-rider class, including former Paralympic gold medal winner Lauren Barwick and the twin German threat posed by Britta Napel (Aquilina 3) and Angelika Trabert (Ariva-Avanti).

But whereas the individual championship medallists - today's same trio in the same order - had been separated by less than 1%, Baker put daylight between her rivals this time.

"I never imagined that at my first Games in London I would go home with two gold medals. It's incredible. I don't know what to say to be honest, and that doesn't happen a lot!" she said.

"Watching Lee Pearson on television at the Sydney Paralympics 12 years ago was a massive inspiration for me, seeing the relationship he had with his horse. I was only 10 years old then, but I was so inspired by him."

Wheelchair sprinter Mickey Bushell upgraded his Beijing silver to gold in London with victory in the T53 100 metres tonight.

The 22-year-old, the world record holder, got off to a flying start and raced away from the field to win in a new Paralympic record 14.75 seconds.

Bushell, whose win took Great Britain's athletes' total medal tally to 12, revealed he had been inspired by watching David Weir's 5,000m victory last night.

He said: "Gold was the only thing I wanted. I know I had to work for it, it's been a long, hard four years.

"Last night I watched Dave Weir and as he crossed the line I was bouncing off the walls in my room.

"He's been a massive influence - just as a team-mate, he's been there for me. He was there for me in Beijing as well, even with all the stuff he had to deal with as well."

Bushell will go for a second gold in the 200m, but admitted this was the title he had been craving, saying: "This is my stronger event. This is the one I wanted."

Paralympic debutant Paul Davies claimed Britain's second table tennis medal of London 2012 when he beat Lee Chang-ho in the C1 third-place match today.

After Will Bayley took silver from Sunday's C7 final, Davies, 45, came out on top in his clash with Lee Chang-ho, winning 3-2 against the South Korean to take bronze.

Americans Nicholas Taylor and David Wagner will defend their Paralympic crown against Britain's Peter Norfolk and Andy Lapthorne after reaching the wheelchair tennis doubles quad final.

The duo are challenging for their third Paralympic gold medals after serving up success for the USA in 2004 and 2008, but Norfolk and Lapthorne will provide stern opposition.

Two-time men's singles medallist Norfolk said: "We will win the final, I'm happy to play whoever."

Britain's Helena Lucas sits top of the 2.4mR standings after recording two victories on the south coast in the sailing event.

After a two-hour postponement waiting for the breeze to arrive in Portland Harbour, the 37-year-old opened up a nine-point advantage at the top with a double bullet - sailing terminology for victory - in today's races.

Lucas is now favourite for gold with just five races remaining but will not be taking anything for granted, especially having seen Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson agonisingly denied Star gold in the Olympics.

Britain are also faring well in the SKUD class, with Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell second in the fleet after six races.

The men's seven-a-side football team missed out on the semi-finals, losing 7-1 to Ukraine following their opening defeat against Brazil, while the men's sitting volleyball team could not build on their win over Morocco as they lost 3-0 to Germany in Pool A.

But Britain's wheelchair men's basketball team defeated Japan 71-55 to make certain of a quarter-final place, although the women lost 67-50 to Canada.

It was a memorable night for Irish Paralympic sport in the Olympic Stadium, courtesy of middle-distance runner Michael McKillop.

The 22-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, obliterated the opposition to claim the most convincing of victories in the T37 1500 metres.

He had a season's best coming into the race more than 20 seconds faster than the next quickest in the field and it proved as comprehensive on the track as it looked on paper.

His time of four minutes 8.11 seconds was a new Paralympic record and more than six seconds clear of the field. Great Britain's Dean Miller, who had been a medal contender, could only manage seventh.

McKillop's success came two days after he landed 800m gold in equally emphatic fashion.

"It was unreal to come back and try and win the 1500m," McKillop, who received his medal off his mum, told Channel 4.

"It wasn't in Beijing, so to get the chance to run it in London was great because 1500m is my preferred event.

"It's very hard [to do both], but with all the training I have done, I've put in the hard work for months and years and to stand on the starting line and race in the 800 and 1500m in a class that I'm at the top of is an honour."