(Australian Associated Press)
Australia’s 2021 Paralympics campaign at a glance
* 21 gold medals, eighth overall
* 80 medals total (29 silver, 30 bronze)
* Will Martin’s blitzing debut was the crowning jewel in a medal-studded Australian meet in the pool. Martin, 20, claimed two individual gold medals, a relay gold and a relay silver and also broke two world records.
* Maddison de Rozario was a breakout in Rio and built on that in Tokyo. De Rozario claimed gold in the 800m T53, added a bronze in the 1500m T4 and rounded out her Games with gold in the marathon T54.
* Canoe sprint star Curtis McGrath defended his KL2 gold medal from Rio, and added the VL3 title – a new event in 2021 – to his resume.
* Australia enjoyed a breakthrough table tennis campaign, with Qian Yang, Lina Lei and Ma Lin, who’d all previously represented China, superb. Yang and Lei earned individual gold while the table tennis contingent also claimed four silver medals.
* The cycling team excelled with four gold medals and 13 medals in total.
* Australia’s wheelchair rugby team lamented a limited build-up to Tokyo and never really got going. The Steelers missed out on a gold medal three-peat, failed to make the final for the first time since 2004 and lost the bronze medal match.
* Lauren Parker was heartbreakingly denied a Paralympics gold medal in the women’s triathlon, edged out by just 0.01 seconds when American Kendall Gretsch powered down the home stretch to pass her just short of the finish line.
* Australia fell just one gold medal short of matching its tally from Rio (22 gold).
* In her first Paralympics, Paige Greco claimed Australia’s first gold medal in Tokyo, while the gun cyclist also landed two bronze medals.
* In taekwondo’s Paralympics debut, 40-year-old Janine Watson landed Australia’s first medal in the sport by claiming bronze in the women’s K44 +58kg.
* A popular leader of the swimming team, Grant Patterson debuted in London, missed out on selection for Rio but bounced back with aplomb in Tokyo. Nicknamed ‘Scooter’ for the non-motorised scooter he uses, Patterson made his mark with his big personality, dynamic interviews – and claimed a silver and bronze medal.
* Todd Hodgetts controversially had his seventh-place shotput finish ruled out for being late to the call room – but made his mark for a different reason. In a post-event interview that went viral, Hodgetts passionately hailed the Paralympics and Australia, gave a shoutout to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, then ripped off his jersey, flexed and yelled “This is what it’s all about! This is what it’s all about!” down the Channel Seven microphone.
* Stuart Jones epitomised sportsmanship when he urged on South African Toni Mould during the road cycling.
THE TALKING POINT
* Public pressure nudged Morrison into announcing the government would guarantee $20,000 for every Australian gold medal at the Paralympic Games, plus $15,000 per silver and $10,000 for each bronze – the same medal reward handed to Olympians. Paralympians previously didn’t receive any financial reward.