Click the image above to view highlights from day 4 of competition.
Newcastle Knights great Danny Buderus made an appearance at the Hunter Sports Centre today to present the medals to the athletics athletes.
Luke Rout from Orange in NSW took out two gold medals, winning mens shot put and mens 200m.
Luke was thrilled with his efforts. "This is my 13th year in Special Olympics and I am so happy with my performance."
Cheered on by her family supporters, Amanda Stevens secured a bronze in the FIS 100m, while Jason Dodson achieved a personal best in winning the bronze in long jump and Paul Bowmaker also won a bronze.
To date, the Australian aquatics team have racked up an amazing 58 personal best performances and it was a clean sweep in the pool for the Aussies today in the 400m freestyle. This morning Australia took out the first five positions in the men’s 400m freestyle and the first four in the women’s 400m freestyle.
For the women, Claire Pearson of NSW took gold, Deana Horvat of Victoria silver, Ruby Lawler of Queensland bronze and Lucy Dumitrescu of NSW fourth.
In the men’s event, Ben Morrison of Victoria won gold, followed by local Hunter athletes Keiran Corry and Tristan Finnen, with Ashley Tyler of South Australia and Brendan Foley of NSW rounding out the positions. Several of the men achieved personal best times in the race which had the crowd cheering as competitors went neck and neck from start to finish.
The win was particularly special for Ben who was determined to win gold for his grandpa.
‘My grandfather once told me to never give up swimming and to keep trying to do my best, and I promised I would,’ Ben said.
Sadly, Ben’s grandparents lost their lives in one of Australia’s worst natural disasters, the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009.
You can view Ben’s story on ABC News at 7pm on Friday 6 December 2013.
Jason Dodson's personal best of 2.94m helped secure him bronze in M7 long jump. Photo: Andrew Sadleir, Special Olympics Australia.
Today over 100 school students flooded into Newcastle Basketball Stadium to cheer on our basketballers and with such incredibly strong matches there were stomping feet all around the arena.
The finals kick off tomorrow from 10am with the competition to be as fierce as ever. The gold medal matches are scheduled for 11.15am with Australia set to dominate the medals in both the male and female divisions.
For a bit of fun entertainment there will also be a scratch match of Aussie basketballers versus Aussie supporters at 12.30.
Charlestown Bowling Club hosted yet another amazing day of bocce competition today with tomorrow set to be a ‘clap-fest’ with all medals to be presented in a gala event. One of the great stories from bocce is around Anne who is an 87-year-old volunteer. Anne worked full days on Monday and Tuesday where she was allocated to Team Bangladesh. They now were lovingly refer to her as ‘Grandma’. Anne returned to the bocce venue today to help the team out… even though she wasn’t scheduled to work! Awesome work, Anne!
A big day on the cricket pitch today with the Indian team bringing home a big win against Australia! Their head coach Dr. Anil Sharma said the team has been having a huge amount of fun at the Games, enjoying playing the sport and meeting new people. They’ve only lost two games so far and are pretty proud of scoring 100 runs in 20 overs - a brilliant result!
On the football field today, Australia were happy to report that their best game in their Special Olympics Games campaign was against Bangladesh and they’re looking forward to suiting up for their next game tomorrow at 1pm. The team is having a brilliant time representing their nation and making new friends from all around the Asia Pacific region!
5 a side Football action from the match between Australia A and Australia C. Liam O'Donnell and Robbie Streeting (right) after the match. Photo: Peter Muhlbock, Special Olympics Australia.
A hard-fought competition ended with a bronze medal in combined age group singles for Cassandra Bonomo from the Australian team. Cass was beyond excited to proudly display her medal for all to see, a token for all of her hard work this week! The men’s and women’s singles table tennis is now complete and is to be followed by the men’s and women’s doubles matches tomorrow.
This afternoon at Superstrike Maitland the Aussie team were on form with the Aussie women’s doubles teams winning in every single division.
The day ran smoothly and by 3pm, competition had wrapped so there was time to loosen up with some dancing.
Mayor of Maitland, Peter Blackmore, Paul, Michael and Kate from Network Twenty-One and Ann-Maree Putney a top Australian tenpin bowler were on hand to present medals and ribbons with the Australian team dominating the podium.
Well done Aussie bowlers. Today our team were awarded:
4 4th places
2 5th places