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ParalympicsGB to return from Rio 2016 with third highest medal haul in British Paralympic history

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on 18-09-2016 20:24

ParalympicsGB will return from Rio with 64 gold medals - the most gold medals and indeed most medals of any British Paralympic team since Seoul 1988 - and won 12% of all gold medals awarded at the Games, which is the best performance since Tel Aviv in 1968.

A series of exceptional performances ensured ParalympicsGB comfortably passed the 121 medal target set by UK Sport, eventually finishing with 64 golds, 39 silvers and 44 bronzes, a total of 147 medals - a result which sees the team finish second in the table behind China.

In doing so, the team has now won gold medals in 11 sports – this matches China in 2008 as the highest number in Paralympic history.

Additionally, ParalympicsGB secured medals in 15 sports – a feat which equals the record previously held by the USA from Athens 2004 as the greatest ever in one Games.

Across ParalympicsGB, the team have broken 49 Paralympic and 27 World Records and both the oldest (Anne Dunham) and youngest (Abby Kane) athletes won medals.

Historic ParalympicsGB performances include:

  • Dame Sarah Storey surpassing Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson as Great Britain’s most successful female Paralympian ever on 14 golds with victory in the C5 3000m individual pursuit. The 38-year-old went on to add further golds in the C5 time trial and women’s C4-5 road race.
  • Kadeena Cox becoming the first British athlete to win gold medals in two sports at the same Games since 1984 after victory in the women’s cycling C4-5 500m time trial and then the 400m T38 final on the athletics track. Cox also won bronze in the women’s T38 final and silver in the women’s 4x100m T35-38 final.
  • An extraordinary regatta at Lagoa saw ParalympicsGB’s rowers win medals in all four classes – the first nation ever to do so at a Paralympic Games – including three golds and a bronze. 
  • Additional history made at the same venue, this time in canoeing as Jeanette Chippington became the first ever Paralympic canoe champion when she won the women’s KL1 final. It was one of five medals won by ParalympicsGB’s sprint canoeists with three golds and two bronzes over the six finals. All female British Paralympians competing at Lagoa picked up medals.
  • Andy Lewis becoming the first ParalympicsGB athlete to win a medal in triathlon by taking gold in the PT2 class.
  • Piers Gilliver winning ParalympicsGB’s first wheelchair fencing medal since 1992 with individual epee silver.
  • ParalympicsGB’s women’s W1 archers completing a clean sweep of the medal podium with Jessica Stretton taking gold ahead of Jo Frith and Vicky Jenkins – a first for both Team GB or ParalympicsGB since 1996, when it was achieved in Lawn Bowls.
  • ParalympicsGB men’s wheelchair basketball clinching their third bronze medal in four Games with the women’s team finishing fourth for their highest-ever finish at a Paralympic Games.
  • ParalympicsGB equestrian team win 11 medals and seven gold, beating their London haul while Natasha Baker, Sophie Christiansen, Anne Dunham and Sophie Wells retained the team title, ensuring ParalympicsGB remain unbeaten in the sport since the sport’s first outing at Atlanta in 1996.
  • Six medals for ParalympicsGB wheelchair tennis players, including gold for Gordon Reid after defeating teammate Alfie Hewett in an all-British men’s singles final and Andy Lapthorne and Jamie Burdekin won the longest wheelchair tennis match in history.
  • ParalympicsGB winning 12 medals including five gold on Day 8 and in doing so passing the Beijing total medal haul of 102. Gold and bronze for Hannah Cockcroft and Kare Adenegan a day later take the team past the London 2012 haul of 120.

Amongst the outstanding performances from British athletes were: David Smith, who moved himself level with Nigel Murray as Britain’s most successful Boccia player with gold in the mixed individual BC1 class; Libby Clegg and guide Chris Clarke who completed the sprint double over the T11 100m and 200m; Hannah Cockroft successfully defended her 100m T34 title as well as adding 400m and 800m gold to move onto five Paralympic titles; Jonnie Peacock defended his T44 100m title while Richard Whitehead did likewise in the T42 200m – with teammate David Henson taking bronze – and also taking silver in the T42 100m. Meanwhile in the pool, there were five medals won by 34-year-old swimmer Stephanie Millward while ParalympicsGB swimmers clinched three golds medals in just 38 minutes on day five, including a Paralympic title for Sascha Kindred in his last race of a Paralympic career spanning back to Atlanta 1996. Ellie Simmonds and Susie Rodgers were the other two winners.

“This team has been absolutely exceptional in so many ways." Chef de Mission

Chef de Mission of ParalympicsGB Penny Briscoe said:

“This team has been absolutely exceptional in so many ways. The focus, the determination, the ambition across the whole team has been amazing.

“As the medals started to roll in, the mood in the camp and the belief in the team became infectious and I believe all athletes went out there onto the field of play in the best possible physical and mental condition as a result of that self-confidence. The team has been outstanding across all 11 days of competition.

“I am exceptionally proud of what has been a brilliant team and a brilliant team effort.

“I would like to record my thanks to the National Lottery and the players of the National Lottery, the National Governing Bodies, the Home Nations, the IPC and the Organising Committee for their support in helping us to achieve such fantastic performances at such a fantastic Games.”

“We’re now looking forward to arriving back in the UK as we know that the British public has once again got firmly behind the team and supported us all the way.”

The team will depart Rio on Monday 19 September and land back in the UK on Tuesday 20 September.

A parade to celebrate the success of the ParalympicsGB and Team GB was announced during the Olympic Games. 

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