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Tokyo Paralympic Games: Dame Sarah Storey becomes the greatest British Paralympic EVER with 17th gold

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At the racecourse where James Hunt and Niki Lauda staged one of their most extraordinary F1 races, Dame Sarah Storey took a dramatic record-breaking 17th Paralympic gold in appalling conditions.

Storey, whose third gold at the Paralympics takes her to a British record tally of 17, was well over a minute behind Germany’s Kirstin Brachtendorf until her British teammate Crystal Lane-Wright helped make a comeback.

Lane-Wright took over from Storey at the front of the chasing pack, reeling in the German and leaving the coast clear for Storey to send home the gold.

Dame Sarah Storey became Britain’s greatest ever Paralympic ever with her 17th gold

The 43-year-old came from behind to win the C4-5 road race in a downpour in Tokyo, Japan

The 43-year-old came from behind to win the C4-5 road race in a downpour in Tokyo, Japan

ALL LADY SARAH STOREY’S GOLD

1992 Paralympic Games

– 100m backstroke

– 200m individual medley

1996 Paralympic Games

– 100m breaststroke

– 100m backstroke

– 200m individual medley

2008 Paralympic Games

– Time trial

– Individual Chase

2012 Paralympic Games

– Individual Chase

– 500m time trial

– Time trial

– Street race

2016 Paralympic Games

– Individual Chase

– Time trial

– Street race

Paralympic Games 2020

– Individual Chase

– Time trial

After the pair of British riders caught up and overtook the German, they had a discussion about the prospect of winning gold and silver, with Lane-wright saying she told her teammate she wouldn’t try to beat her for gold.

Lane-Wright said she said to Storey, ‘This is your gold medal – don’t worry, I’m not taking it. I won’t even try to take it from you.’

Lane-Wright admitted this was “probably not the most athletic, competitive thing to do.” But she also said Storey’s win was a result of her having the power to race home first. “She hit it so hard at the bottom of the climb that I wasn’t fast enough,” Lane-Wright said.

Storey said after the race that she helped lead an exhausted Lane-Wright to silver.

“Crystal said, ‘Get me up the climb, I have to get the silver medal,’ Storey said. ‘And then I just’ [went] full throttle to the finish. We didn’t have a conversation about how the race would go, but once we were in that race-winning mood, she could tell me she just had to climb the climb and I’m on to the finish.”

Lane-Wright, who was beaten to silver by Storey three times at the Paralympics, said after their first race in the velodrome last week that she hoped she wouldn’t be in a position to top her teammate’s bid to become the most successful. Great Britain’s Paralympic Gold Medalist.

But the road race was complicated and dangerous, with Storey sometimes describing himself as riding “a river of surface,” with minimal visibility.

Looking for a way to beat an opponent who has only won gold at a Paralympic Games, Brachtendorf drove an early breakaway as the track hit a slope at the end of the second lap.

Her lead increased from 25 seconds after the second round to 65 seconds after the third, when it was biblically raining, to 75 seconds at the end of the fourth. Storey looked at ease, but Lane-Wright was the only rider in the pack willing to overhaul the leader and help Storey.

Storey said in the aftermath: “We knew we had to time it right because if you go too fast too early you burn all your matches, and I wasn’t expecting any help, you know I’m defending champion and everyone wants me to like them.” bring it true to the line, so I knew it was my race to judge. Crystal came through on the penultimate climb to make sure we close that gap, and then it was just up to me to try and get us into the gap so I didn’t hit my breaks on that last descent. I just went for it.

Storey's win eclipses Mike Kenny's total of 16 Paralympics GB gold medals

Storey’s win eclipses Mike Kenny’s total of 16 Paralympics GB gold medals

Storey won her first five gold medals in swimming

Then she started cycling and has been dominating since 2008

She won her first gold at age 14 (L) in Barcelona 1992 and has added 16 more to her collection

“It was really good when she came through and closed the gap, I didn’t have great legs on the climb to be honest in the middle of the race. When she was able to use that to get us back up front, it was really good. It was great to see that we were able to win the medals at the top of our podium, in the three events we have competed in.”

Storey said she hadn’t felt the weight of history—despite the pre-race that this was her chance to surpass 1970s and 80s swimmer Mike Kenny as the GB Paralympian with the most gold medals.

“You defend a title and it is added up afterwards,” she said.

“I’ve never really felt that pressure to be overwhelming before a race. It’s just every race as it comes. It’s the sweetest feeling to know that I go back to my room and have some gold medals in the safe to keep and that makes that count very real.”

Lane-Wright has said she is now withdrawing from Paralympic competition.

Meanwhile, in other disciplines, ParalympicsGB added their medal wins on Thursday as Bethany Firth took gold in the women’s 100m backstroke, while Jessica-Jane Applegate took bronze.

Reece Dunn won bronze in the men’s 100m backstroke, while the C1-3 men’s road race really got going with Ben Watson taking gold on his debut and Finlay Graham taking silver.

Meanwhile, British javelin thrower Dan Pembroke was left stunned after taking gold in Tokyo on his Games debut with a massive Paralympic record.

The 30-year-old from Herefordshire, who has a degenerative facial condition and has previously competed in able-bodied events, claimed victory in the F13 class with a massive 69.52m throw.

Earlier at the Olympic Stadium, Scottish wheelchair racer Sami Kinghorn won her second medal in 24 hours by taking silver in the women’s T53 400m final after a Wednesday evening 100 meters bronze.

Three-time world champion Dan Greaves became the first Briton to win athletics medals at six different Games thanks to F44 discus bronze.

After taking the podium in Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London and Rio, 38-year-old Greaves surpassed Tanni Grey-Thompson’s feat with a throw of 53.56m.

Team GB's Dan Pembroke celebrates as he wins gold in the F13 javelin at the Tokyo Paralympic Games

Team GB’s Dan Pembroke celebrates as he wins gold in the F13 javelin at the Tokyo Paralympic Games

Dreams of a second consecutive all-British men’s wheelchair tennis final were dashed as Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett suffered the last four defeats.

Defending champion Reid lost 6-3 6-2 to number 1 and home favorite Shingo Kunieda, before the silver medalist of Rio Hewett was defeated 6-4 7-6 (5) by Dutchman Tom Egberink.

The British duo will compete for bronze in the Ariake Tennis Center on Saturday.

Fellow GB player Jordanne Whiley will also try to save the singles bronze after a 6-4 6-2 last-four loss to Dutch top-class Diede De Groot in the women’s draw.

Whiley later made up for that disappointment by advancing to the doubles final with partner Lucy Shuker.

The British women finished seventh in wheelchair basketball after beating Spain 62-43 at the Ariake Arena.

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