St George and Sutherland Shire athletes star at 2016 Rio Paralympics

Big result: Engadine's Sarah Walsh finished sixth in the T44 women's long jump in her Paralympic debut. Picture: John Veage

Big result: Engadine's Sarah Walsh finished sixth in the T44 women's long jump in her Paralympic debut. Picture: John Veage

St George and Sutherland athletes have starred at the Rio Paralympics which came to a close on Monday [AEST].

Cronulla Sailing Club member Jonathan Harris won a sailing gold medal alongside his sonar trio teammates Russell Boaden and Colin Harrison.

The Oatley resident and his team secured gold with a race to spare in the three-person kneelboat sonar class.

The 60-year-old grandfather and his crew racked up three wins, four seconds and a third to set up a remarkable victory with just 26 points to comfortably account for the USA on 44 and Canada on 51.

It was a fitting result for Harris in his second Paralympics, with the sport to be dropped from the program for the Tokyo 2020 games.

Shire cyclist Amanda Reid posted a personal best time to win the silver medal in the C1-2-3 500m time trial.

The 19-year-old C2 competitor was the second from last on the start order and flew over the two laps to clock 40.354 seconds, slashing two seconds from the C2 Paralympic Games record.

In a combined event times are adjusted based on classification and, after factoring, Reid’s time was posted as 37.581 which put her first with one rider to come.

Reid represented Australia in swimming at the 2012 Paralympics in London where she finished fifth in the 100m breaststroke and has made a tremendous success of her switch to the bike in four years.

Reid told the Australian Paralympic Team’s website she was thrilled with the result.

“It’s just incredible. I looked up at my time and I was shocked. I thought ‘wow, I’ve got a Paralympic track medal,’” she said.

“I didn’t really think about what I was going to do. I just went out and rode the best I could and tried to beat my personal best. 

“That was the best ride I have ever done. I had a little bit of nerves and then they went away when I got in that start gate because I knew what I had to do.”

Reid also finished 11th in the women’s road race C1-3.

Engadine’s Sarah Walsh finished sixth in the final of the T44 women’s long jump on her Paralympic debut. 

The 18-year-old student, who had her right leg amputated below the knee, jumped 4.82m in her event that was won in a world record of 5.83m by France’s Marie-Amelie Le Fur.

Walsh’s sixth place mirrored her result at the World Championships in Doha last year.

Port Hacking’s Nicole Harris finished seventh in the women’s F20 shotput, with a result of 11.53 metres.

The 24-year-old also placed seventh at the world championships last year and has represented Australia in skiing and basketball, with her goal to also compete at a winter Paralympics.

Heathcote’s Daniel Michel finished 15th overall in the mixed individual BC3 boccia competition with the highlight being his first pool match victory over Great Britain’s Jamie McCowan 3-2 in a clash that came down to the final ball throw.

It was a dream start for Michel, Australia’s first boccia athlete to qualify for the Paralympic Games since Sydney 2000.

In his only other game Michel put up a solid showing before going down 7-2 to Greece’s world number three Grigorios Polychronidis.

The Australian team won 22 gold medals, 30 silver and 29 bronze to continue their streak of top five finishes at every Paralympics since Barcelona 1992.

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