Dame Sarah Storey equals Mike Kenny’s British record of SIXTEEN Paralympic golds with success in the C5 time trial at Tokyo Games… and she could make history in Thursday’s road race!
An overjoyed Dame Sarah Storey stormed to a record-equalling 16th Paralympic gold on Tuesday and asked: ‘Sweet 16?! Can I be 16 again?’
The cyclist’s utter domination of her sport continued as she won the C5 time trial by over a minute and a half.
She is now one gold away from surpassing the British record set by swimmer Mike Kenny in the 1970s and ’80s. She will eclipse Kenny if she wins Thursday’s road race and is the hot favourite.
Dame Sarah Storey equalled Mike Kenny’s British record of 16 Paralympic golds on Tuesday
The cyclist’s utter domination of her sport continued as she won the C5 time trial in Japan
Storey celebrates her record-equalling victory on the podium during the medal ceremony
Dame Sarah said: ‘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.’
Could achieve that on Thursday? ‘Who knows in a road race?’ she said.
‘I came into cycling as a 27-year-old and I feel like I have had the opportunity to develop and continue to become efficient with my peddling; the way I handle the technical sections, all of those things coming together.
‘All the preparations that we do for that. It is hard work. We have done a huge amount of travelling with the kids in the run-up to this to get to the race courses that will be most suitable. I’m just really delighted.’
The 43-year-old had children after her golds in London and Rio. Luisa is now eight and Charlie is four.
But Dame Sarah said after her second gold of these Tokyo Paralympics that she is ‘too old’ to have more now. That points to her being able to focus on pushing towards 20 golds.
Briton Crystal Lane-Wright (left) took silver, just as she did on the track individual pursuit
Storey said that conditions at the Fuji International Speedway course had been ‘perfect’, with cloud cover shielding her from the relentless heat of the past few days and minimal wind. Her major obstacle was the stragglers from the men’s C2 time trial which preceded her own.
She said: ‘The corners were really grippy and I rode a really good line and carried speed. I got caught up in a bit of traffic at times perhaps as I was going a bit quicker than they had anticipated.
‘They do time it incredibly well so you don’t get mixed up with the lads. I was in with the end of the lads. I had to keep my head, know the rules, make sure you stay out of trouble and finish it off well.’
Storey said that conditions at the Fuji International Speedway course had been ‘perfect’
She said she had continually looked at ways of bringing down her time and remaining competitive, with her husband and coach Barney key to this.
‘We have refined my position (in the saddle),’ Dame Sarah said. ‘We have been in a wind tunnel. We have taken a new set-up on the handle bars, which has also worked incredibly well on the track.
‘We have been refining everything we can do to try to pace things and to carry speed.’
Briton Crystal Lane-Wright, so often the bridesmaid to Storey’s bride in competition, took silver behind her, just as she did on the track individual pursuit last week.
Kirstin Brachtendorf, who looks the biggest obstacle to Storey taking Kenny’s record on Thursday, finished third.
Storey is now one gold away from surpassing the British record set by swimmer Mike Kenny