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Wichitan Nick Taylor wins third Paralympics gold; Jordan Bird advances in 800

  • Eagle staff
  • Published Wednesday, Sep. 5, 2012, at 2:35 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Sep. 5, 2012, at 7:13 p.m.

Wichita’s Nick Taylor teamed with David Wagner to win their third straight gold medal in quad doubles wheelchair tennis at the London Paralympics on Wednesday.

Taylor and Wagner defeated Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne and Peter Norfolk 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. The pair won in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.

“We knew it was going to be difficult form the beginning, but we battled through and played well,” Taylor wrote in an e-mail to The Eagle. “Playing against the home team was an incredible experience and one I will never forget.

“There were well over 5,000 people in the stadium and today and let’s just say the vast majority weren’t cheering for us.”

It’s back to singles on Thursday for Taylor and Wagner, though. They’ll meet as opponents in the semifinals. The winner advances to the gold-medal match, while the loser plays for bronze. Taylor is 7-60 in his career against Wagner in singles and has never medaled in singles.

Jordan Bird, of Conway Springs, made it out of the first round of 800-meter heats on Wednesday but did not advance in the 400..

In the 800, finishing second in Heat 3 (1:38.20) to automatically qualify for Thursday’s final. His qualifying time is sixth of eight finalists. In the 400, Bird was sixth in his heat with a time of 49.53 seconds.

Bird is also scheduled to run in the 1600 relay on Saturday.

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