Latvian wins gold, sets record in Paralympics

A 35-year-old Latvian athlete has won a gold medal—and set a world record—in the men’s discus throw during the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games in China.

Aigars Apinis threw the discus a distance of 20.47 meters on his last attempt Sept. 8, setting the record and earning 1,097 points for the No. 1 spot.

The medal is the athlete’s second gold in the event. He took first in the event during the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. Apinis is from Birzgale near Ogre and is classified F52, meaning “athletes in [a] wheelchair with spinal cord injuries and amputation,” according to the official Web site of the Beijing Paralympic Games.

The final throw not only earned him a world record, but also the Latvian national record and the Paralympic record.

Martin Chris of Great Britain won silver with 1,074 points and Roman Musil took the bronze with 1,026 points.

The competition took place in Beijing’s National Stadium.

The Paralympic Games run from Sept. 6-17.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

One thought on “Latvian wins gold, sets record in Paralympics

  1. What a spectacular accomplishment for an athlete – of any country! It is unfortunate that the Paralympics are not televized – it might serve to change the stereotypes and misconceptions about physically challenged people, especially in Latvia!

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