With the Rio Paralympics now in the latter half of the Games GB still show no signs of slowing down as their Golden streak continues.
Here’s my two day summary of GB at the halfway stage of the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
Wednesday September 14th
Every time I think I’ve seen the best Team GB have to offer they go and knock it out the park again.
An incredible 20 medals earned in the space of 12 hours, just 1 less than the record 21 they won on Sunday. But whilst they may not have completely matched their efforts from the other day, they did go one better when they took an extra Gold than what they’d managed on Sunday to make it 9 in a single day.
These Golds were fairly equal across a few sports, with a 1/3 coming from swimming and another 1/3 from the Road Cycling. 2 more came from the athletics track, whilst the final one came in GB’s second Equestrian event of the Games
It all started off extremely successfully, with Sarah Storey taking the first Gold of the day when she competed in the Women’s C5 Time Trial. As well as being Storey’s 13th Paralympic Gold, her win also propelled GB past their total wins from London 2012. From this point on any further Gold for the team was simply the cherry on the cake of what has already been a phenomenal games.
The Golds kept coming early on on day 7 with Sophie Wells placing the highest score in the Grade IV Individual Championship Test to give GB their first win in the Equestrian at Rio. Her high score will also contribute to the overall Team Championship mark, an event that the team has never lost since it was first introduced to the Paralympics in 1996.
Karen Darke and Steve Bate took Gold in their respective Road Cycling Time Trials, whilst Kadeena Cox won her third Paralympic medal when she stormed through the Women’s T38 400m to become one of GB’s most sensational athletes. This was Cox’s first Athletics Gold after taking Bronze in the Women’s 100m T38 final on Friday, as well as a Gold in the Women’s C4-5 500m Time Trial in the Track Cycling on Saturday. She still has the T35-38 4 x 100m Relay and C4-5 Road Race to come at these Games.
After an incredible Gold Rush, there was a lot more medals to come throughout the afternoon.
Not long before Kadeena Cox took her second Gold of the Games, T35 athlete Maria Lyle ran a tough race to clinch the Bronze for GB. This was followed later on by another two Bronze in the Road Cycling, where Lora Turnham and David Stone finished in third place in their respective Time Trials.
Over in the Equestrian GB flag bearer Lee Pearson followed Sophie Wells’ earlier Gold with a Silver in his Grade lb Championship Test, missing out on the Gold by just 1%. Andy Lapthorne followed on with another Silver later on when he competed against Australia’s Dylan Alcott for the Gold in the Wheelchair Tennis Quad Singles. Only the day before Lapthorne had won Bronze in the Men’s Quad Doubles.
Then it was time for the Golden hour.
In little more than a hour, Team GB won a massive 10 medals across the swimming and athletics, with four of those medals being Gold.
It started off with Claire Cashmore who was hoping to finally claim a first place finish in the Paralympics. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be for Cashmore who narrowly missed out on the Gold and had to settle for Silver.
At the same time Hannah Cockroft was getting ready to try and grab her second Gold of these Games as she raced in the Women’s T34 400m. This time it was meant to be as she crossed the finish line in first place, with teammate Kare Adenegan coming in closely behind to take the Bronze.
After that it was back to the pool for the remainder of the action, where GB had a great deal of medal hopes across the next hour.
In both the Men’s S7 400m Freestyle and the Men’s SB14 100m Breastroke it was a British 1-2 as Michael Jones and Aaron Moores claimed the top spots respectively, whilst Jonathan Fox and Scott Quinn followed behind in second place. The latter race was particularly close, with Quinn coming back strong over the second 50m to finish just 0.03 seconds behind his teammate.
Sandwiched between those GB 1-2s was Susannah Rodgers who took the only Bronze for the team in the pool on Wednesday when she competed in the Women’s S7 400m Freestyle. The position was a great achievement for Rodgers who earlier on in the week had claimed Gold, much to her own shock, in the Women’s S7 50m Butterfly.
Closing off the night in the pool were Bethany Firth, who said the Women’s SB14 100m Breaststroke was her bonus race for these games, and her teammate Hannah Russell who competed in the Women’s S12 100m Backstroke.
Firth was narrowly beaten by race favourite Michelle Alonso Morales by only 0.27 to add a Silver to the two Golds she’s already won in Rio. Russell, on the other hand, was quite frankly a cut above the rest as she stormed to victory in the 100m Backstroke over 5 seconds ahead of second place.
Favourite medal moment of the day = The unstoppable Kadeena Cox winning her first athletics Gold (and 3rd Rio 2016 medal) in the Women’s T38 400m. Cox is definitely one of the most inspirational Paralympians on Team GB, and showing how possible the impossible can be.
As it happened…
- 08:20 : GOLD (Sarah Storey) Women’s C5 Time Trial (Road Cycling)
- 10:00 : GOLD (Sophie Wells) Women’s Grade IV Individual Championship Test (Equestrian)
- 10:30 : GOLD (Karen Darke) Women’s H1-2-3 Time Trial (Road Cycling)
- 10:54 : BRONZE (Maria Lyle) Women’s T35 100m (Track Athletics)
- 11:17 : GOLD (Kadeena Cox) Women’s T38 400m (Track Athletics)
- 13:30 : GOLD (Steve Bate) Men’s B Time Trial (Road Cycling)
- 14:00 : SILVER (Lee Pearson) Individual Grade lb Championship Test (Equestrian)
- 14:44 : BRONZE (Lora Turnham) Women’s B Time Trial (Road Cycling)
- 15:23 : BRONZE (David Stone) Men’s T1-2 Time Trial (Road Cycling)
- 16:30 : SILVER (Andy Lapthorne) Quad Singles (Wheelchair Tennis)
- 17:36 : SILVER (Claire Cashmore) Women’s SB8 100m Breaststroke (Swimming)
- 17:40 : GOLD (Hannah Cockroft) Women’s T34 400m (Track Athletics)
- 17:40 : BRONZE (Kare Adenegan) Women’s T34 400m (Track Athletics)
- 17:44 : GOLD (Michael Jones) Men’s S7 400m Freestyle (Swimming)
- 17:44 : SILVER (Jonathan Fox) Men’s S7 400m Freestyle (Swimming)
- 17:54 : BRONZE (Susannah Rodgers) Women’s S7 400m Freestyle (Swimming)
- 18: 06 : GOLD (Aaron Moores) Men’s SB14 100m Breaststroke (Swimming)
- 18:06 : SILVER (Scott Quinn) Men’s SB14 100m Breaststroke (Swimming)
- 18:13 : SILVER (Bethany Firth) Women’s SB14 100m Breaststroke (Swimming)
- 18:40 : GOLD (Hannah Russell) Women’s S12 100m Backstroke (Swimming)
TOTAL MEDALS = 95 – (43) GOLD (24) SILVER (28) BRONZE
Thursday September 15th
The medal rush just kept on coming on the final Thursday day of the Rio 2016 Games.
It was the day of the Canoe Sprint finals, a new event for the Paralympics, and all six of GB’s competitors had advanced in qualifications to race in their respective events.
With 5 out of 6 medals eventually being won, it proved to be one of GB’s best sports, especially for the women racing in the KL1, 2 and 3. All of them walked away with a Gold medal around their necks after some superb and tense action on the water. It was a great success particularly for Jeanette Chippington who had previously been a strong medallist for GB in the 1996 and 2000 Paralympic Games.
Ian Marsden and Nick Beighton picked up the other medals for GB on the water with two Bronzes to add to the tally, with Rob Oliver just narrowly missing out on the podium as he finished with a time of 42.410 to take 5th in the Men’s KL3.
As well as being a Golden day for the Canoe Sprint, it was the Equestrian that took centre stage as the final Individual Championship Tests got underway.
Natasha Baker started things off when her and her horse Cabral competed in the Grade II event. After a shaky start in the Team Test a few days before, Baker was all smiles as she took first place almost 2% ahead of Demi Vermuelen in second place.
Not long after it was time for reigning Gold medallist Sophie Christiansen and her teammate Anne Dunham to take to their horses Athene Lindebjerg and LJT Lucas Normark in the Grade la Championship Test. Christiansen took a strong lead with 6 more competitors to go and despite good performances no-one was able to shift her from that top spot. Not even Anne Dunham who scored 74.348% to claim the Silver, 4% behind her teammate.
Their success meant that the Team Championship Gold went to GB, with the earlier performance of Natasha Baker and that of Sophie Wells the previous day being combined to give the team a dominant score over the Germans. To this day, GB are the only team to ever win Gold in the Team Championship event.
Whilst this may have marked the end or GB’s Gold rush for the day, there were still a number of medals to come across the different sports.
Over in the Wheelchair Tennis Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett were beaten by their French rivals to finish the Men’s Doubles competition in second place. It was a rocky start for the pair after they lost the first set, but they came back strong to level it 1-1 and take it into the third and final set. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be and after many mistakes were made, the British pair had to make do with the Silver this time.
This was the first of three GB Silvers that evening as over in the athletics both Richard Whitehead and the Women’s 4 x 100m Relay team were pipped at the post to ultimately finish in second place. Whitehead’s result was an improvement from London 2012 when he only finished in seventh, and he was one of two competitors to take home the Silver after it was deemed a dead heat between him and Denmark’s Daniel Wagner.
Charlotte Henshaw completed the medal count on Thursday with a Bronze when she took 3rd in the Women’s SB6 100m Breaststroke, her only event of these Paralympic games.
Favourite medal moment of the day = A Silver for the Women’s T35-38 4 x 100m Relay Team consisiting of Kadeena Cox, Sophie Hahn, Georgina Hermitage and Maria Lyle. Despite coming in second place it was an expert run from the British team, and it took a World Record by the Chinese to beat them (with just a difference of 0.26 seconds).
As it happened…
- 09:00 : GOLD (Natasha Baker) Individual Grade II Championship Test (Equestrian)
- 09:00 : GOLD (Jeanette Chippington) Women’s KL1 (Canoe Sprint)
- 09:08 : BRONZE (Ian Marsden) Men’s KL1 (Canoe Sprint)
- 09:16 : GOLD (Emma Wiggs) Women’s KL2 (Canoe Sprint)
- 09:34 : BRONZE (Nick Beighton) Men’s KL2 (Canoe Sprint)
- 09:52 : GOLD (Anne Dickins) Women’s KL3 (Canoe Sprint)
- 12:45 : GOLD (Sophie Christiansen ) Individual Grade la Championship Test (Equestrian)
- 12:45: GOLD (Natasha Baker, Sophie Christiansen, Anne Dunham, Sophie Wells) Team Championship (Equestrian)
- 12:45 : SILVER (Anne Dunham) Individual Grade la Championship Test (Equestrian)
- 17:30 : SILVER (Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid) Men’s Doubles (Wheelchair Tennis)
- 17:50 : BRONZE (Charlotte Henshaw) Women’s SB6 100m Breaststroke (Swimming)
- 18:17 : SILVER (Richard Whitehead) Men’s T42 100m (Track Athletics)
- 19:31 : SILVER (Kadeena Cox, Sophie Hahn, Georgina Hermitage, Maria Lyle) Women’s T35-38 4 x 100m Relay (Track Athletics)
TOTAL MEDALS = 108 – (49) GOLD (28) SILVER (31) 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 Peter Burgess at https://www.flickr.com/photos/burge5000/