What a story: moving British cyclist ‘overwhelmed’ after gold record at 17th Paralympic Games


Sarah Storey, moved, said she felt “overwhelmed” after becoming Britain’s most successful Paralympian on Thursday with her 17th gold medal, 29 years after her debut.

Storey won the women’s C4-5 road race for her third gold at the Tokyo Games after victories in the individual pursuit at the velodrome last week and in the C4-5 road time trial ago. two days.

“I’m a little overwhelmed, again,” she told Channel 4 TV immediately after the 79.2-kilometer race. “I feel like it’s happening to someone else.

“At the moment I can’t explain or calculate anything about the race, but crossing the finish line was so good.”

In dangerous, cool, wet and foggy conditions at Fuji International Speedway, cycling queen Storey finished in 2 hours, 21 minutes and 51 seconds.

The victory propelled her past Mike Kenny’s 16 swimming gold medals from 1976 to 1988.

She was once again flanked by fellow Briton Crystal Lane-Wright as the pair achieved a third Games brace. Marie Patouillet of France won bronze behind the duo for the second time in Tokyo.

“It’s so good to see Sarah being so successful,” Lane-Wright said. “If I won three silver medals in his shadow, then I’m so happy.”

The British pair allowed Germany’s Kerstin Brachendorf to escape with a lead of more than a minute.

They then chased her relentlessly on the final lap of six on the 13km circuit around the foothills of Mount Fuji, in a temperature of 18 degrees Celsius closer to a British summer in Storey’s hometown of Manchester. .

“I love riding in the rain,” Storey said. “I feel like I have the technical skills to handle the turns.”

Storey’s longevity and endurance are remarkable. She started her Paralympic career in the swimming pool at the age of 14 in Barcelona in 1992, where she won two gold medals.

“It was mental”

After winning five gold medals in swimming from 1992 to 2004, Storey switched to cycling at the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Storey, who was born without a functioning left arm, has broken 76 world records and is in the best shape of her life, having best beat her own world in pursuit of her.

Great Britain’s gold medalist Sarah Storey celebrates on podium after women’s C4-5 road race | REUTERS

But she held back tears as she remembered how it all started, with a little help from her parents.

“My mom and dad told me when I was 12, when I didn’t earn anything at school …

“And that’s what I keep doing.”

She became the most successful British Paralympian at the London Games in 2012 when she broke Tanni Gray-Thompson’s record 11 gold medals.

Storey again shed tears as she sang the national anthem on the top step of the podium for the 17th time in a career that spanned eight amazing Paralympic Games.

It was a golden morning for the British cycling team as they also won first and second place in the men’s C1-3 race under excruciating conditions.

Ben Watson won his second gold of the Games in 2:04:23 with Finlay Graham winning the silver 1:20 adrift.

The pair parted ways to destroy a world-class field with Frenchman Alexandre Leaute in third, more than six minutes behind Watson.

“It was mental,” Watson said. “I’m complaining about the rain but I love running in there, I love it.

“When I woke up this morning I had a smile on my face, I knew it was going to be pretty good.”

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