Twelfth gold sees Dame Sarah Storey move clear as Britain’s most successful female Paralympian
Dame Sarah Storey became Britain’s most successful female Paralympian in her own right by claiming her 12th gold medal on the opening day of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Dame Storey had previously shared the honour with Tanni Grey-Thompson on 11 gold medals but victory against fellow Brit Crystal Lane in the C5 3,000m individual pursuit saw her move clear.
The Manchester rider only needed 1,375m of the 3,000m race to secure her seventh para-cycling gold against Chelmsford’s Lane, with five golds also coming in the pool.
"It's amazing and I don't think it will sink for a very long time." Dame Sarah Storey
Dame Sarah Storey said:
"I've not thought about being the most decorated Paralympian until two days ago but Tanni's still a hero for me,” said Storey.
"To go quicker than London after having my daughter Louisa is the icing on the cake. You can never underestimate anyone on the other side of the track. It's amazing and I don't think it will sink for a very long time.
“These things are just things that are a byproduct of doing a good performance but someone else will come along and smash it out the water at some point.”
The 38-year-old’s historic moment was just one of three gold medals won by ParalympicsGB on day one at the Rio Olympic Velodrome.
Stratford-upon-Avon’s Megan Giglia was the first ParalympicsGB athlete to win gold in Brazil after she beat USA’s Jamie Whitmore in the C1-2-3 3,000m individual pursuit.
The 31-year-old, who took up the sport after suffering a stroke in 2013, claimed Paralympic glory with 1,250m to spare.
“I’ve still got three events to go so we'll have to see. I’ve got my main event out of the way now so I can just enjoy the rest of them with my legs peddling fast.
And ParalympicGB’s fourth medal on the track came through Mytholmroyd’s Stephen Bate and his tandem partner Adam Duggleby as they secured gold in the men’s B individual pursuit.
"It's hard to back up a world record ride like this morning but I was super stoked to be able to do it by winning gold" Stephen Bate
The Brits just missed out on setting another world record in the final, having set a new best time in the morning session, but the 4:08.631 they posted was good enough to defeat Netherland’s Vincent ter Schure in the final by just under two seconds.
"It's hard to back up a world record ride like this morning but I was super stoked to be able to do it by winning gold. This guy (Duggleby) is world class and I can't thank him enough."