Tokyo Paralympic 2020: Sarah Storey won her 17th Paralympic gold medal, moving ahead of Mike Kenny for the most by a British athlete; Crystal Lane-Wright, a fellow Briton, takes silver in the C4-5 road race behind Storey; and Ben Watson wins gold in the men’s C1-3 event.
Dame Sarah Storey has become Great Britain’s most successful Paralympian ever after claiming the 17th gold medal of her illustrious career at Tokyo Paralympic 2020.
At one stage of the C4-5 road race at the rain-soaked Fuji International Speedway, cycling superstar Storey trailed veteran German Kerstin Brachtendorf by 75 seconds, but she showed her mettle to win in 2:21:51.
A British citizen Crystal Lane-Wright earned her third silver of the Games after finishing seven seconds behind the leaders, with Marie Patouillet of France rounding out the podium in 2:23:49.
On an incredible morning, Benjamin Watson won gold in the men’s C1-3 event in 2:04:23, a minute and 20 seconds ahead of compatriot Fin Graham.
Storey, a mother of two, matched Mike Kenny’s long-standing British record of 16 golds by winning the C5 time trial at this location on Tuesday.
The 43-year-old was already more decorated than swimmer Kenny coming into her third and final event of the Games, with a total of 27 medals to her 18 before the race.
She was determined to cement her place at the top of Britain’s all-time individual medal table, and she accomplished so in spectacular fashion by preserving her unblemished Paralympic cycling record with a thrilling comeback triumph.
The former swimmer, who won her first five gold medals in the pool in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, has now won all 13 bike races she has competed in since her first Games on two wheels in Beijing in 2008.
“I could never have imagined competing in eight games, let alone winning medals at each of them, 17 of which were gold,” she remarked.
She’s done it.
GOLD for @DameSarahStorey
She becomes our most successful Paralympian of all time.
— ParalympicsGB (@ParalympicsGB) September 2, 2021
“It’s the realisation of a dream I didn’t have.
“I simply wanted to be a British athlete, to fight for my country for as long as I could, and to be still going strong in Games number eight is truly incredible.
“I was never aware of a burden on my shoulders. It’s the sweetest feeling in the world to know that when I return to my room, there are a couple of other gold medals in the safe to put this one alongside and that the tally becomes very real.”
Despite his long-term dominance, Storey warned before of the 78-kilometre race that victory would not be easy.
Her forecast turned out to be correct.
Storey was swiftly left with a mountain to climb in sodden conditions better suitable to her or 77-year-old Kenny’s aquatic days in the slopes of Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak.
Brachtendorf, the race’s long-time leader, staged a daring break away from the pack as early as the second of six laps.
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