Dame Sarah Storey wins ParalympicsGB's first gold medal of Tokyo 2020

25 August 2021, 07:27 | Updated: 25 August 2021, 10:51

Dame Sarah Storey took the first gold for ParalympicsGB.
Dame Sarah Storey took the first gold for ParalympicsGB. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Dame Sarah Storey has won ParalympicsGB's first gold and first medal for Great Britain at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

The cyclist won her 15th-ever gold medal in the women's C5 3000 metres individual pursuit.

She faced compatriot Crystal Lane-Wright in the race for first place in a repeat of the Rio 2016 final.

Storey's continued dominance of the event, has seen her now win at four successive Games.

The 43-year-old broke her own world record in the heats against New Zealand's Nicole Murray - taking four seconds off her best time - but did not need to repeat the trick in the deciding race at the Izu Velodrome as she caught Lane-Wright inside eight laps.

Her latest success took her career Paralympic gold medal haul to 15, one short of swimmer Mike Kenny's British record.

She will next week have the chance to surpass Kenny when she bids to retain her C5 time trial and C4-5 road race crowns.

Storey said she was "overwhelmed" following her win.

"It’s hard to put into words. I’ve won a medal at every single Games I’ve been to and this is my fourth time in a row winning the individual pursuit," she explained.

"I broke the world record in Beijing, in London, in Rio and here but I never expected to go as quick as I did.

"It is fantastic to see the event getting faster. I just need to keep getting faster as well.

"I knew it was in me but I just needed to get the right day and right preparation.

"It has been an incredibly difficult preparation because it is so different to what I am used to.

"I just had to call upon all of my experience and know that I was capable of staying calm under that pressure."

Read more: Tokyo 2020: The Queen hails 'skill and determination' of Team GB athletes

As for silver medalist Lane-Wright, she said she was happy with her performance, despite not being able to take the gold from her teammate.

"As much as I'm up against Sarah, it's me versus me all the time," she told Channel 4 after the race.

"To get such a big PB this morning, to me that's my gold medal. I can only control what I can do, so I am so pleased for today.

"If there's one person that watches this and thinks, 'I can do it' and I inspire them, that's more than any medal, any race I have ever done.

"Paralympic sport is still really in its infancy and it's a hard job, but it's the best job I've ever had and I absolutely love it, so please be inspired."

It comes as Stephen Bate and pilot Adam Duggleby also took the silver for ParalympicsGB in the men's B 4000 metres individual pursuit.

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