Aug 31 2012
Aled Davies delighted a near full Olympic Stadium by winning Great Britain's first Paralympic athletics medal on the first morning of competition.
The 21-year-old clinched bronze in the F42/44 shot put with a throw of 13.78 metres.
That worked out at a total of 961 points. The Welsh athlete finished 26 points behind Croatian silver medallist Darko Kralj, with Denmark's Jackie Christiansen taking gold.
Davies, who was making his Paralympic debut and whose main event is the discus, saved his longest throw for his sixth and final attempt, although he was already on course for the podium thanks to a third-round effort of 13.63.
The Bridgend athlete, who represented Wales at swimming before turning his attention to athletics in 2006, was born with talipese and hemi-hemilia in his right leg, which means the limb is missing bones, muscle and ligaments and is supported with a brace.
"As soon as I came out of that tunnel the whole stadium erupted," said Davies, who received another huge ovation when he received his medal. "They didn't know who I was but I was competing for Great Britain and everyone started screaming.
"I knew going out there six of those guys had taken medals in Beijing so I needed to bring something big to the table.
"A lot of people were thinking because I had broken the world record at the start of the year I should be in for a medal shot, but there are six other guys out there who are also close to the world record.
"To manage to perform as close as I can to that and to be able to beat a lot of those guys is a big thing.
"It's my second event, I wanted to get in the final eight and maybe a top-six finish, but I did not expect to medal. I'm just overwhelmed."