The British Paralympic cyclists got off to a flying start in Rio – with Gold for Dame Sarah Storey, Megan Giglia, Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott as well as a Silver for Crystal Lane.
Now, we can add yet another Gold to the medal table, after Kadeena Cox claimed victory in the C4-5 500m time trial – just 24 hours after she took Bronze on the Athletics track.
The sprinter turned cyclist is the first British athlete to win medals in more than one sport at the same Paralympic Games in 28 years. She rode the 500 metre event in a time of 35.716, factored to 34.598.
- C1-5: The biggest category is the C bracket for athletes who are able to ride bicycles. Cyclists may have a condition like cerebral palsy or have a leg or arm amputation. The severity of condition ranges from C1, severe limitations, to C5, athletes who meet minimum requirements to compete.
- Read more about Paralympic classification here
Cox’s win prevented Dame Sarah Storey from claiming a 13th Paralympic Gold – as she was nudged down to fourth place. However, she pointed out in interviews afterwards that as a Pursuit specialist, she ‘shouldn’t be winning’ a 500m event. British rider Crystal Lane took fifth place – taking the GB rider total in the top five to three.
Twenty-five-year-old Cox was training as an able bodied sprinter on the running track until 2014, when she was rushed to hospital with the symptoms of a stroke. She returned to sport two months later, but later that year was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
The past few years have no doubt been peppered with endless challenges, yet Cox has pushed through them all to achieve incredible results.
— C4 Paralympics (@C4Paralympics) September 11, 2016
Following the event, she said: “I can’t believe it. I’m so happy! I worked so hard for it and my legs were knackered from yesterday. I was mentally fatigued and I wasn’t sure I was going to do it. I did it, I’m over the moon.
“It’s crazy to think of this time two years ago, I had a relapse and I got re-diagnosed, going to hospital. To be here now is amazing, I’m just so happy. Doing the two sports is crazy. Taking up cycling and being on top of the world is amazing. I didn’t expect it.”
Megan Giglia, who has already won a Gold in the Individuals Pursuit was also competing in the C1-3 500m time trial – but missed out on a medal this time despite breaking her own World Record with a time of 41.252.
Check out the schedule for the Paralympic cycling events here.