Team GB put on an incredible performance over the first two days of the Rio Paralympics, but with such a high bar set already was their luck set to run out during the first weekend of the 2016 Games?
Here’s my two day summary of GB’s first weekend at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
Saturday September 10th
After a Fabulous Friday where GB picked up an amazing 16 medals, 7 of which were Gold, the team went through a little bit of a medal drought in comparison the day after when they had their least successful day of the Games so far.
Not that the team performed badly by any standards. GB still racked up a great total of 8 medals on a day when there were less opportunities for the nation to go for Gold.
It was the first day of the Triathlon, an event that was receiving its Paralympic debut over in Rio, and the spirit of GB’s success from the Olympics seemed to be strong in athlete Andrew Lewis as he finished the exhausting race in first place.
Lewis’ was the first of 3 Golds won by GB on that day, with further success coming on both the athletic and cycling track. The former was won by Hannah Cockroft in the Women’s T34 100m, an event that she was already the reigning champion in after winning Gold back in 2012. Cockroft’s teammate Kare Adenegan followed relatively closely behind her to clinch Silver and give GB the top 2 places on the podium. Toby Gold claimed the second Silver medal for GB on Saturday when he came a close second in the Men’s T33 100m
The final Gold came from the velodrome where Multiple Sclerosis sufferer Kadeena Cox raced brilliantly to claim Gold in the Women’s C4-5 500m Time Trial. Cox’s win was an astounding success for the athlete who only the day before had taken the Bronze in the Women’s T38 100m. She will go on to compete in the Women’s T38 400m on Wednesday.
Alongside these medals GB also finished with an additional 3 Bronze on Saturday. 2 of these were earned in the different athletic disciplines, with Sabrina Fortune claiming third place on the field in the Women’s F20 Shot Put, whilst Andrew Small had Bronze success on the track in the Men’s T33 100m. Their efforts were accompanied by a Bronze in the swimming where Alice Tai placed third in the Women’s S10 100m Backstroke.
Favourite medal moment of the day = Kadeena Cox winning Gold in the Women’s C4-5 500m Time Trial after Bronze success in the athletics the day before.
- 10:03 : GOLD (Andrew Lewis) Men’s PT2 (Triathlon)
- 10:38 : BRONZE (Sabrina Fortune) Women’s F20 Shot Put (Field Athletics)
- 17:48 : GOLD (Kadeena Cox) Women’s C4-5 500m Time Trial (Track Cycling)
- 18:06 : GOLD (Hannah Cockroft) Women’s T34 100m (Track Athletics)
- 18:06 : SILVER (Kare Adenegan) Women’s T34 100m (Track Athletics)
- 18:12 : SILVER (Toby Gold) Men’s T33 100m (Track Athletics)
- 18:12 : BRONZE (Andrew Small) Men’s T33 100m (Track Athletics)
- 19:31: BRONZE (Alice Tai) Women’s S10 100m Backstroke (Swimming)
TOTAL MEDALS = 35 – (15) GOLD (8) SILVER (12) BRONZE
Sunday September 11th
Since the Paralympics started on Thursday Team GB have been on a rollercoaster ride when it comes to medals.
After rising strongly over the first two days they dipped slightly on Saturday with their lowest day so far, but GB put all that behind them on Sunday when they went on to have their most successful day in Rio with a haul of 21 medals.
It all started off with the rowing regatta as the four finals went underway. GB had claimed a place in each of the finals, and they proved to be the dominant force when they walked away with 3 Golds out of 4. The only event they failed to win was in the AS1x Men’s Single Sculls, but rower Tom Aggar still managed to walk away with a medal when he clinched third place and grabbed the Bronze.
Rowing was just one of the five sports that GB had astounding success in on the second day of this glorious weekend.
After Andrew Lewis’ win in the Men’s PT2 Triathlon on Saturday there was a lot more to come for GB in the multi-discipline event. Lauren Steadman and Alison Patrick raced for Silver in the PT4 and PT5 respectively, whilst Melissa Reid went on to claim Bronze in the latter event as well.
Their success, alongside that of the GB rowers, provided Golden success in the morning events, with races in the velodrome topping off a brilliant start to the day. A total of 4 medals were won in the track cycling,starting with a Silver for Neil Fachie and his pilot Pete Mitchell in the Men’s B 1000m Time Trial. His achievement was later bested by fiance and fellow track cyclist Lora Turnham who went onto claim Gold alongside pilot Lora Turnham in the Women’s B 3000m Individual Pursuit. A Bronze was also claimed by Sophie Thornhill and pilot Helen Scott in the same event, after their Golden success in the 1000m Time Trial just two days before.
Then it was time for the big event on the track.
In the last race on the cycling track at Rio 2016 it was GB versus China in the Mixed C1-5 750m Team Sprint.
The event was one of the most tense to watch from these Games so far as China led the first two laps with a difference of 1/2 seconds. However, after redeeming himself on Friday by winning the Men’s 1000m Time Trial, Jody Cundy proved how strong a cyclist he is by making up the distance in no time at all. As they rode round the final bend it was all to play for, but Cundy proved himself the greater cyclist by crossing the finish line in first place with a new world record over 1.2 seconds ahead of his Chinese rival.
What a way to close off the action in the velodrome.
After such an incredible medal haul in the early hours of day 4, it almost felt like GB’s luck wasn’t going to run out anytime soon.
That definitely seemed the case with additional wins in the Athletics as Richard Whitehead raced to a confident victory in the Men’s T42 200m. Captain David Henson, who had suffered a wobble in qualifications when he lost control on his blades, soared down the final straight to go from eighth to third and grabbed a Bronze alongside his teammate. An additional Gold on the field as Joanna Butterfield threw a distance of 22.81m to win the Women’s F51 Club Throw completed GB’s success over in the Olympic Stadium Sunday night.
With 14 medals down GB had already managed their greatest haul of the Rio Games thus far, but as the action in the pool went underway, the team well and truly blew it out the water.
Bethany Firth provided GB with their final Gold of the night when she won the Women’s S14 200m Freestyle with a very strong lead. Jessica Jane Applegate followed behind her to claim Silver and give GB a strong position on the podium.
Their event was bookended by an additional 5 medals – 2 Silver and 3 Bronze. The former went to Rebecca Redfern and Thomas Hamer in their respective Breakstroke and Freestyle events, whilst third place was awared to Amy Marren, Josef Craig and Stephanie Millward who topped off an incredible night in Rio for Team GB.
Favourite medal moment of the day = Jody Cundy leading the Mixed C1-5 team in the 750 sprint to Gold after a closely fought race against 2012 Paralympic champions China.
- 09:50 : GOLD (Rachel Morris) AS1x Women’s Single Sculls (Rowing)
- 10:00 : SILVER (Lauren Steadman) Women’s PT4 (Triathlon)
- 10:10 : BRONZE (Tom Aggar) AS1x Men’s Single Sculls (Rowing)
- 10:30 : GOLD (Lauren Rowles, Laurence Whiteley) TA2x Mixed Double Sculls (Rowing)
- 10:50 : GOLD (Grace Clough, Daniel Brown, Pamela Relph, James Fox, Oliver James) LTA4+ Mixed Coxed Four (Rowing)
- 11:25 : SILVER (Neil Fachie) Men’s B 1000m Time Trial (Track Cycling)
- 11:35 : SILVER (Alison Patrick) Women’s PT5 (Triathlon)
- 11:35 : BRONZE (Melissa Reid) Women’s PT5 (Triathlon)
- 12: 15 : GOLD (Lora Turnham) Women’s B 3000m Individual Pursuit (Track Cycling)
- 12:15 : BRONZE (Sophie Thornhill) Women’s B 3000m Individual Pursuit (Track Cycling)
- 12:42 : GOLD (Louis Rolfe, Jon-Allen Butterworth, Jody Cundy) Mixed C1-5 750m Team Sprint (Track Cycling)
- 17:33 : GOLD (Joanna Butterfield) Women’s F51 Club Throw (Field Athletics)
- 17:53 : BRONZE (Amy Marren) Women’s SM9 200m Individual Medley (Swimming)
- 18:08 : SILVER (Rebecca Redfern) Women’s SB13 100m Breaststroke (Swimming)
- 18:29 : SILVER (Thomas Hamer) Men’s S14 200m Freestyle (Swimming)
- 18:37 : GOLD (Bethany Firth) Women’s S14 200m Freestyle (Swimming)
- 18: 37 : SILVER (Jessica-Jane Applegate) Women’s S14 200m Freestyle (Swimming)
- 19:08 : GOLD (Richard Whitehead) Men’s T42 200m (Track Athletics)
- 19:08 : BRONZE (David Henson) Men’s T42 200m (Track Athletics)
- 19:29 : BRONZE (Josef Craig) Men’s S8 100m Freestyle (Swimming)
- 19:36 : BRONZE (Stephanie Millward) Women’s S8 100m Freestyle (Swimming)
TOTAL MEDALS = 56 – (23) GOLD (14) SILVER (19) BRONZE
*All details are accurate according to the official Rio 2016 Paralympics app. The times posted signify the start of the final, therefore some times may not correctly indicate when the medal was achieved.
**header image by cdephotos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/86396370@N02