Para-cyclists Tristan Bangma (The Netherlands), and Lora Turnham (Great Britain) won the last individual events, Sunday, at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. Team Great Britain used the fourth and last day of track cycling to grab their eighth title at the velodrome – a gold medal in the Mixed C1-5 Team Sprint.
The Netherlands’ Tristan Bangma and pilot Teun Mulder earned the gold medal in the Men’s tandem time-trial, in addition to setting a new Paralympic record of 59.822 seconds. The 18-year-old raced today in his first Paralympic Games but has already impressed as the runner-up to the UCI World Champion in the event.
“It’s just incredible, unbelievable really. I felt I could get a good time coming into the Games. I knew my training had gone well and that I was in good shape. This is the gold medal that tells a lot more than being a world champion. It only comes round every four years. I am only 18 so I hope to be in Tokyo in 2020, we will see. Now I just want to celebrate, but I am not believing I am Paralympic champion,” said Bangma.
Five-time UCI World Champion in the time-trial, Great Britain’s Neil Fachie and pilot Pete Mitchell (+0.419 seconds) had to settle for the silver medal. Fachie had won the event at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Team Germany’s Kai-Christian Kruse and Stefan Nimke (+1.965 seconds) took home the bronze medal.
Britain’s Lora Turnham and pilot Corrine Hall dominated the Women’s Individual Tandem Pursuit. In the final, the British duo faced New Zealand adversaries Emma Foy and Laura Thompson (+3.519 seconds) – the event’s reigning UCI World Champions – and beat them to the line in a time of 3 minutes 28.050 seconds.
“I just can’t stop laughing and crying. We really didn’t expect it to happen in the pursuit as the Kiwis have been dominant; since London they have been unbeatable. We knew after winning bronze at the Worlds we were capable of winning a medal, but I never quite allowed myself to believe it would be gold,” said Turnham.
During qualifications, Turnham and Hall registered a new Paralympic time, covering the 3000 meters in 3 minutes 27.460 seconds. Turnham’s win today is her first, as well as being her first Paralympic Games medal; she previously participated in the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
In the bronze medal final, Britain’s Sophie Thornhill and pilot Helen Scott easily won against New Zealand’s Amanda Cameron and Hannah Kampen.
For Thornhill and Scott, this is the second medal earned at the Rio Olympic Velodrome, last Friday, the duo won gold in the time-trial.
The last track event, the Mixed C1-5 Team Sprint, was completely dominated by team Great Britain’s Louis Rolfe (C2), Jon-Allan Butterworth (C5), and Jody Cundy (C4).
After having lowered the event’s world record to 49.004 seconds during qualifications, the Briton trio then repeated the exploit for the gold medal, lowering their time once again, to 48.635 seconds.
Current Paralympic Champions in the event, the Chinese this time had to take home silver; Xie Hao (C2), Wei Guoping (C4), and Liu Xinyang (C5) came in at +1.279 seconds from the British winners.
The bronze medal final was won by Spain’s Amador Granados Alkorta (C3), Eduardo Santas Asensio (C3), and Alfonso Cabello Llamas (C5) in 50.664 seconds. They beat out Americans Jennifer Schuble (C5), Joseph Berenyi (C3), and Christopher Murphy (C5) by a mere 1.044 seconds.
Team GB leaves the track with a hefty twelve medals – including eight gold. Team China sits behind them with seven medals (three gold), while The Netherlands is in third place (eight medals, two gold).
Para-cyclists now head to Pontal, where the Paralympic Games road racing events will take place as of Wednesday.