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Paralympics: Gold for former Formula One driver Zanardi

Italian triumphs in handcycling time-trial

Paralympics: Gold for former Formula One driver Zanardi

(ANSA) - London, September 5 - Former Formula One driver Alex Zanardi won Italy's fifth gold medal Wednesday in the individual handcycling time-trial in the H4 class at the London Paralympics. Zanardi, who lost both legs in a horrifying auto crash in Germany in 2001, won with a time of 12 minutes 11.13 seconds on the 16km course, beating Germany's Norbert Mosandl by fully 27 seconds. Zanardi drove for Formula One teams in the early and mid-1990s and won two championship titles in the American CART series - formerly known as Indycar - in 1997 and 1998. The 45-year-old went to the 2012 London Games with a positive attitude. "For a brief moment I found myself thinking of all the things I've done," Zanardi said on his Twitter feed before leaving for London . "I'm a lucky boy!" His win Wednesday came at the iconic Brands Hatch - the same venue where he first competed as a young Formula 3000 driver 21 years ago. Earlier Wednesday, Italy claimed its fourth gold medal at the Paralympics when after Assunta Legnante set a new world record in the women's F11/12 shot put final. Legnante - nicknamed "little cannon" for the power of her arms - set a new world record with a throw of 16.74m, while Tang Hongxia of China won silver with a throw reaching 12.47m. Tang's Chinese teammate Zhang Liangmin took the silver with her throw of 11.07m. On Monday, Italy's Oscar De Pellegrin won the gold medal in archery, to take the country's third gold medal in this summer's Paralympics. De Pellegrin, Italy's flag-carrier at the opening ceremony, squeezed out Malaysian competitor Hasihin Sanawi 6-5 in the final of the men's individual recurve W1/W2 event to scoop Italy's third gold medal Swimmer Cecilia Camellini took Italy's other golds in London with victories in the women's 100m and 50m freestyle events in the S11 category. De Pellegrin has one gold and four bronze medals from past Paralympics.

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