20160912 Copyright onEdition 2016© Free for editorial use image, please credit: onEdition Swimmer Ellie Simmonds OBE, 200m Individual Medley SM6 - Women,  from Aldridge, Preston, wins gold for ParalympicsGB at the Rio Paralympic Games 2016. ParalympicsGB is the name for the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Paralympic Team that competes at the summer and winter Paralympic Games. The Team is selected and managed by the British Paralympic Association, in conjunction with the national governing bodies, and is made up of the best sportsmen and women who compete in the 22 summer and 4 winter sports on the Paralympic Programme. For additional Images please visit: http://www.w-w-i.com/paralympicsgb_2016/ For more information please contact the press office via press@paralympics.org.uk or on +44 (0) 7717 587 055 If you require a higher resolution image or you have any other onEdition photographic enquiries, please contact onEdition on 0845 900 2 900 or email info@onEdition.com This image is copyright onEdition 2016©. This image has been supplied by onEdition and must be credited onEdition. The author is asserting his full Moral rights in relation to the publication of this image. Rights for onward transmission of any image or file is not granted or implied. Changing or deleting Copyright information is illegal as specified in the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988. If you are in any way unsure of your right to publish this image please contact onEdition on 0845 900 2 900 or email info@onEdition.com

Copyright onEdition 2016©
Swimmer Ellie Simmonds OBE, 200m Individual Medley SM6 – Women, from Aldridge, Preston, wins gold for ParalympicsGB at the Rio Paralympic Games 2016.

By Barney Cullum

The verdict at the half-way point here in Brazil is that the Rio Games have delivered. Not my words, but the words of Paralympics GB’s top athletes.

Many thought the Games might flounder due to slow ticket sales, reports of inadequate accommodation and other issues.

However, swimming royalty Ellie Simmonds – who won her first Rio gold last night – said Brazil had accommodated all of the athletes’ needs and the local public had spurred her on to her latest success.

“There have been no challenges and it’s just been so much fun racing in front of these amazing crowds.”

The Estadio Aquatico was sold out again last night, as it has been for every evening session.

Wheelchair basketball captain Terry Bywater, who has led Britain through to the quarter finals with four wins out of five, has been most taken by the intensity of the spectators.

“I’ve been to five Games and people always come to the Paralympics to get inspired, but in Rio they’re coming for the sport.”

“Wheelchair basketball matters and they think the sport is fantastic here.”

Players in action during the GBR Great Britain vs BRA Brazil Men's Wheelchair Basketball Group B Preliminary, Match 30, at the Carioca Arena 1. The Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday 10th September 2016. Photo: Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOC.  Handout image supplied by OIS/IOC

Players in action during the GBR Great Britain vs BRA Brazil Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Group B Preliminary, Match 30, at the Carioca Arena 1. The Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday 10th September 2016. Photo: Thomas Lovelock for OIS/IOC. 

15,000 spectators filled Carioca Arena One for the host nation’s clash with GB in the wheelchair basketball on Saturday night.

Played out against a soundtrack of relentless singing and tribal chants – and high-pitched shrieks at the brutal defending – it was a thrilling occasion.

“Before we flew out we heard a lot of stories, but I just want to thank Brazil because the passion has been tremendous,” added Terry.

Jordanne Whiley, the reigning Wimbledon wheelchair doubles champion, said Brazil had proved all the doubters wrong.

“Everyone was a little bit worried before we got here but once we arrived I was like, ‘what has everyone been complaining about?’”

“The Paralympic Village is beautiful and the noise on centre court has been incredible.”

“I think Paralympians both inside and outside of Brazil will get more media coverage and access to better sponsorship now because the crowds have shown how much interest there is.”