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Paralympics 2021: Dame Sarah Storey makes history for Team GB with 17th career gold medal

The Independent
The Independent
 2021-09-02

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Dame Sarah Storey has made history for Team GB as she powered her way to her record 17th career gold medal in the women ’s road race.

The cycling superstar became the most successful ever British Paralympian when she crossed the line ahead of teammate Crystal Lane-Wright, who took the silver medal.

Storey, 43, tied swimmer Mike Kenny’s British record of 16 golds when she won the cycling time trial earlier this week and now own the record outright.

She began her athletic career as a swimmer in the 1992 Games in Barcelona before switching to cycling, where she has dominated the competition.

Tokyo is Storey’s eighth Paralympic Games and her fourth as a cyclist.

From Beijing 2008 onwards, she has won 11 cycling golds on the track and road, never winning a Paralympic medal of another colour.

The road race, held in torrential rain, saw the field make six laps of an alternative 13.2km circuit in Fuji, Japan.

Storey and Lane-Wright caught breakaway leader, German rider Kerstin Brachtendorf, at the start of the final lap and the pair left the chasing pack behind them in the rain and mist.

After turning back onto the motorsports track for the sixth and final time, Storey put in a final burst to take the lead and won the race with her arm held aloft in triumph.

“Sweet 16. Can I be 16 again?” Storey said after being presented her time trial gold medal on Tuesday.

“I never set out on this journey to be Britain’s greatest Paralympian, but to match the best man and to have more other medals is just a dream come true.”

And she added: “I am just so chuffed. I have been preparing for this for such a long time. There have been so many parts to it, both my bike and physical preparations.”

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