Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Golden finish for Aussie champ Kurt Fearnley in marathon

Kurt Fearnley’s thrilling win in the marathon today topped off a golden night at the 2008 Paralympic Games for Australia.

Our men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team, The Rollers avenged their Athens loss four years ago in a big win against Canada 72-60 last night.

The men’s 4×100 metre T35-38 relay team also won gold last night – in world record time.

In last night’s other events, the Australian men’s Wheelchair Rugby Team, The Steelers, came away with silver in their final, coming up short 53-44 in a gutsy performance against the world’s number one the USA.

There was success at the Bird’s Nest, with the women’s 4×100 metres T53/54 relay team running second and the men’s 4×100 metres T42-T46 team picking up bronze.

Fearnley also won bronze in the in the 1500 metre final last night, for a personal total of four medals.

The results cap off an excellent Games for Australia, which now sits fourth on the overall medal tally with 79, including 23 gold.

Mr Shorten urged all Australians to get behind the Team who finish the Games today with the closing ceremony tonight.

One of our Paralympic heroes, swimmer Matt Cowdrey was today named to carry the Australian flag at the event.

This has been an incredible Games for the 19-year-old, his five gold and three silver make him the highest male gold medallist in Beijing.

Cowdrey, from Adelaide, also came away with five world records in the process.