Kadeena Cox is – after one Games – already a history-making Paralympian.
A promising able-bodied sprinter, Cox’s sporting future was altered when she suffered a stroke in 2014. After returning to apparent full fitness, further problems followed, before the Leeds-born athlete was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the September of that year.
She turned her attention to Paralympic sport, targeting a place at Rio 2016. After being classified as a T37 athlete and a C2 cyclist, she earned her first global title on the athletics track, winning the T37 100m at the 2015 world championships.
Cycling success followed as, despite being reclassified from a C2 to a C4, Cox won the 500m time trial at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in 2016.
This double glory fueled hopes that she could become the first British Paralympian since 1988 – three years before she was born – to medal in two sports at the same Games.
She duly did so, winning gold in both athletics and cycling (becoming the first Briton since 1984 to do so), setting a new world record time on the way to 500m victory in the velodrome. Her achievements led to her being selected to carry the flag at the closing ceremony.
Cox suffered a knee injury – which kept her out of both sports for a significant period of time – in December 2017, and despite admitting that the problem still had to be managed, Cox returned to the velodrome to reclaim her C4 500m world title in Apeldoorn in 2019.
She won two silver medals in Milton in 2020, finishing second to Kate O’Brien in the 500m, and helping Britain to another second in the team sprint.
|Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)||500m time trial||Gold|
|UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Montichiari (Italy)||500m time trial||Gold|
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