Published: 5 September 2012
Image and additional reporting: Press Association
Great Britain's Sarah Storey took her tally of Paralympic golds to 10 by claiming a third of a possible four successes at London 2012 with a dominant performance at Brands Hatch.
The 34-year-old from Manchester won two titles in the velodrome and added gold in the women's C5 16-kilometre time-trial on a course which included all the fabled sections of the motor-racing circuit. Storey finished in 22 minutes 40 seconds and will tomorrow ride in the 64km road race seeking to level Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson's haul of 11 Paralympic golds.
Storey's Paralympic career began as a 14-year-old in Barcelona and she won five titles as a swimmer before a series of ear infections saw her turn her attentions to the bike between Athens and Beijing. Following two golds in 2008, including in the time-trial, Storey now has a hat-trick on home soil in her sixth Games and an equal number of cycling and swimming golds.
"I'm absolutely delighted," she said. "It's just amazing to get around the circuit so quick. I'm just so chuffed. I went into Beijing as a swimmer on a bike, almost a fish out of water. My body shape's changed a huge amount since then and now I'm firmly a cyclist. To think I've done what I did in swimming, now on a bike, it's not sunk in at all. I'm not sure it ever will.”
Almost 20 years to the day since winning her first Paralympic title in the pool in Barcelona, Storey claimed a supreme victory in today’s C5 time trial by 1 minute 34 seconds over Anna Harkowska of Poland and Kelly Crowley of the United States, with team-mate Crystal Lane ninth in 27:33.
"The road race is a road race, you can never tell. The girls will all be gunning to beat me after this week. I'll have to keep my wits about me and see what happens. I'm marked everywhere I go. I'll see what I can do and hopefully have the legs for it tomorrow."
Regardless of the result tomorrow, Storey intends to ride on to the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Husband Barney, a three-time Paralympic champion tandem pilot, spoke briefly commenting that he believes she has a lot more to come on the bike:
"There's a lot of room for improvement," he said. And there's a lot of different avenues she can go down, whether it's stage racing abroad or stuff at a Great Britain level. She's still not found her peak in cycling yet."