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Mormons in the 2012 Paralympics, days 3 & 4: Blind sprinter takes gold; archer advances to semi-finals

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LONDON – Mormon sprinter Jason Smyth won gold and set another world record in the 100-meter race Saturday at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London this weekend.

Smyth, of the Belfast Northern Ireland Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ran the race in 10.46 seconds on Saturday, breaking the 10.54-second world record he set the previous day in the preliminary heat of the T13 division.

He picked up an Irish flag proclaiming: “Fastest Paralympian on the Planet” for his victory lap.

He is scheduled to compete in the 200-meter race on Thursday.

Other updates on members of the LDS Church competing in the Paralympic Games this weekend include:

Archery: Eric Bennett of Surprise, Ariz., bested three opponents this weekend and made it to Monday’s men’s individual recurve standing semifinals.

He bested Mario Esposito of Italy and Joel Perrot of France in the first two rounds and Oguzhen Polat of Turkey in the quarterfinals. He faces Timur Tuchinov of Russia in today’s semifinals, which determine which match he will be in for the medals. Bennett, of the Surprise Arizona Stake, lost his right arm above the elbow in a car accident when he was 15.

His wife, Rachel, is blogging about their experience in London at www.aimingforgold.blogspot.com.

Wheelchair basketball: The USA men’s wheelchair basketball team beat South Africa 91-29 and lost to Australia 65-49 this weekend, putting the Americans at 2-2 in the preliminary group round. They play the team from Spain today.

Paul Schulte, 33, of the Bradenton Florida Stake, is the teams’s co-captain. During the game against South Africa, he played for 20 minutes and scored 9 points. Against Australia, he played for about 13 minutes.

Today is the last day of the preliminary group games. The top four teams from both groups will advance to the elimination brackets, which start Sept. 5.

Email: rappleye@desnews.com