02 Sep Tokyo 2020 Paralympics: Dame Sarah Storey breaks GB medal record with 17th gold | UK News
Dame Sarah Storey has become Great Britain’s most successful Paralympian.
The veteran athlete has broken Mike Kenny’s record by winning her 17th gold medal at her eighth Paralympics.
The 43-year-old outrode the competition in the C4-C5 road race at Tokyo 2020 to claim the title.
Speaking after her latest win, Dame Sarah said she could not “explain or compute” what had just happened.
Despite horrific weather conditions, the Manchester native was able to top the podium.
She said the rain was to her advantage, as she had the “technical skills” to beat out the rest of the field and that she “loved racing” in the wet.
Her victory was one of a slew of medals that Great Britain claimed in the cycling.
Dame Sarah’s teammate, Crystal Lane-Wright, took home silver as the pair pulled away from the competition on the final lap of the circuit.
In the men’s C1-C3 road race, Great Britain’s Ben Watson and Finlay Graham won gold and silver respectively.
Dame Sarah, who was born without a functioning left hand, won the event at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Earlier in the Games, she won the time-trial C5 event and the individual pursuit.
She first appeared at the Barcelona 1992 Paralympics as a swimmer, when she was just 14, and took home two golds – as well as three silvers and a bronze.
Dame Sarah competed in the pools again at Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, before moving to the bike for Beijing 2008.
Breaking Kenny’s record was a motivator for Dame Sarah, who said before the competition: “To reach that target – it’s almost a target I didn’t realise I needed – but it’s so close now and it’s really, really exciting to think this opportunity gives me this chance to take it.
“My biggest motivating factor is really to be the best version of me, to be able to produce my very best performances. But to be able to come out of it with some additional success is obviously hugely motivating.
“I know I will have done absolutely everything to the nth degree and rehearsed and rehearsed to make sure I produce the very best performance that I can, so hopefully the outcome can take care of itself.”
If you count bronzes and silvers, Dame Sarah has now won 28 medals.
Tokyo has been harder than other Games, with the rest of her family at home.
Being able to show son Charlie, four, what the competition is like in the flesh is motivation for the Dame to compete again at Paris 2024.
Charlie and his sister Louise, eight, have been watching at home with their dad and former Paralympian Barney Storey.
Dame Sarah said: “Charlie really wants to go to the Games, so I’ve got to make sure that he can. It’s a huge motivator when you see the delight of your children actually at an event that you’re competing in and watching them take it all in.
“Being in Paris is a huge motivator just from a family perspective, as well as trying to keep continuing to push myself to be the best that I can be.”