Team Great Britain’s track cyclists set the tone at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August, bringing home 11 medals (six gold, four silver, one bronze) from the Rio Velodrome. Their para-cycling teammates kept the momentum going, winning an impressive 12 medals (eight gold, two silver, two bronze) in track cycling events that ended Sunday at the Paralympic Games.
Jody Cundy (C4) lead the charge with an imposing performance in the kilometre time trial (C4-C5), as well as in the team sprint (C1-C5), where he earned a second Paralympic title on the last day of track competitions in the company of teammates Jon-Allan Butterworth and Louis Rolfe.
Cundy began his paralympic career as a swimmer at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games, and has ten Paralympic medals to his credit: five in cycling (four gold and one bronze) and five in swimming (three gold and two bronze).
Tandem gold medallists in the Women’s and Men’s individual pursuit events were also won by representatives of the Union Jack, namely the duos composed of Lora Turnham and Corrine Hall (pilot), and Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby(pilot). In both cases, the medals were Paralympic career firsts for these blind athletes.
Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott (pilot) were the fastest around the oval over the kilometre time trial.
Megan Giglia (individual pursuit 3000 m C1-C2-C3), Kadeena Cox (500m time trial C4-C5) and Sarah Storey individual pursuit 3000 m C5) rounded out the golden medal harvest.
It’s worth mentioning that this week’s win was medal number 23 – and the 12th gold – in Storey’s long and victorious career; she is the most decorated British Paralympian in history. Like teammate Cundy, Storey also began her para-athletic career as a swimmer. It remains to be seen if her medal haul will increase further over the coming days, as she will take part in road racing and road time trial competitions – two events where she dominated at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Li Zhangyu leads the way for China
In second place in the medals standings after track events, China followed Great Britain with seven medals, including three gold, two silver, and two bronze.
Li Zhangyu led the way for Team China, reaching the top spot on the podium twice: in the C1 3000m individual pursuit and the C1-2-3 kilometre time trial.
Guihua Liang (C2) was the other Chinese athlete to take home a gold medal, successfully defending his Paralympic title earned at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Li Zhangyu and Guihua Liang will also be participating in road racing events.
The Netherlands find a kink in British armour
The Netherlands were the last nation to scoop up more than one gold medal from Rio. The tandem team of Tristan Bangma and Teun Mulder managed to steal the gold away from Team Great Britain, who were relegated to the second and third places in the kilometre time trial.
The other gold medal was won by Alyda Norbruis in the 500m C1-2-3 time trial.
The remaining Paralympic titles were all earned during the individual pursuit event.
Reigning UCI World Champion in the 3000m C4 pursuit, American Shawn Morelli earned the first Paralympic podium of her career. Australia’s David Nicholas (C3) won his first Paralympic gold medal on the track, after having won the road time trial at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Gold medallist at the last three editions of the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Slovakia’s Jozef Metelka (C4) made good on his winning reputation, earning his first Paralympic title. Lastly, two-time gold medallist in road events at the London Games, Ukrainian para-cyclist Yehor Dementyev (C5) was the remaining gold medallist at the Rio Velodrome.
Paralympic road racing events in Rio begin as of Wednesday September 14th , bringing excitement to the streets!