Sports Monks

Tokyo Paralympics: Sarah Storey wins 15th Paralympic gold

The Times

Sarah Storey put in another world record-breaking performance on her way to claiming her 15th Paralympic title – Britain’s first gold of Tokyo 2020.

She beat team-mate Crystal Lane-Wright in the final to retain her C5 3,000m individual pursuit crown, after beating her own world best in qualifying.

The 43-year-old is just one behind Mike Kenny’s British record of 16 golds.

There was also silver for tandem pair Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby in the B 4,000m pursuit.

Bate and Duggleby were defending champions but the Dutch pair of Tristan Bangma and Patrick Bos, who set a world record in qualifying, caught the Britons in the final.

The opening day of action at the Izu Velodrome belonged to Storey though. She started the final in determined fashion and caught Lane-Wright after 1,750m of their race.

“It’s quite overwhelming,” she admitted to Channel 4. “Being in an empty stadium we have to be prepared to race like that. Once you finish racing, it hits you that the stands are actually empty.

“Racing in a pandemic is hard. When you want to celebrate with people, you realise you can’t. Of course you can celebrate with the team but there is a bigger team behind us and they are really missed.

“I broke the world record in Beijing, in London, in Rio and then this morning. It’s been overwhelming to keep having to back that up and I never expected to go as fast as that today.”

She next goes on Tuesday in the C5 road time trial – another event where she is defending champion – before the road race on Thursday, 2 September.

Storey, who was born without a fully functioning left hand, started her career as a swimmer at Barcelona in 1992 and competed at four Games, winning 15 Paralympic medals, including five golds, before switching to cycling in 2005.

Since then, the mother of Louisa (8) and Charlie (3) has been almost unbeatable both on the track and the road and her qualifying time of three minutes 27.057 seconds was almost four seconds faster than the world record she set in Rio.

For Lane-Wright, it is the second silver medal at consecutive Games in the event.

source: BBC Sport

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