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Neil Fachie

Kilo, Sprint

Based
Altrincham, Cheshire

From
Aberdeen, Scotland

Date of birth
12/03/1984

Team

A track and field athlete at his debut Paralympics, in Beijing 2008, Neil Fachie made the switch to track cycling in time for the London Games four years later  winning gold and silver in the tandem B events, for athletes with a visual impairment.

It is an area in which the Scotsman has proved dominant, winning 10 gold medals at UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships between 2009 and 2016 in the tandem B kilo and sprint disciplines.

The 2016 campaign, and preparations for the Rio Paralympics, began with Fachie winning golds yet again in the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Montichiari, Italy, where Peter Mitchell partnered him to success in the kilo and sprint.

Fachie added another Paralympic medal to his collection, winning silver alongside pilot Mitchell in Rio.

Career in numbers

3

Total Paralympic medals

2

Total Commonwealth Games medals

11

Total UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships medals

Biography

Born in Aberdeen with a congenital eye condition, retinitis pigmentosa, Fachie took up athletics at the age of 24 and ran for Great Britain in the 100 and 200-metre sprints at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing before deciding to make the switch to track cycling.

Initial steps onto the track with the Great Britain Para-cycling Team soon after Beijing led to Fachie joining the squad in April 2009 to focus on the tandem events. His promise was immediately apparent when he won two silver medals in sprint and kilo with pilot Dave Readle at his first international competition, the UCI Para-cycling World Cup in Manchester.

By the 2009 para-cycling track world championships in Manchester, Fachie was in the form to take the first of his 10 gold medals, winninb the sprint and the kilo alongside pilot Barney Storey, with the pair setting a new world record of 1:02.217.

A different pilot - this time the former Olympian Craig MacLean - brought the same results at Fachie’s next Para-cycling Track World Championships in Montichiari two years later with the pair breaking the world record in the sprint.

By the Olympic year of 2012, Fachie was clearly in medal contention for his two events at the London Paralympics and, partnered with Storey once more, warmed up with a silver medal in the kilo at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles.

In London at the Paralympics that summer, Fachie duly delivered, with Storey again his pilot, setting a world record of 1:01.351 in the kilo, and taking the gold medal after team mates and favourites Anthony Kappes and Craig MacLean suffered a mechanical failure.

Kappes and MacLean gained revenge in the sprint competition but Fachie was still able to cap a successful home Games by adding a silver medal to his collection.

Breaking the minute barrier

The 2014 season saw Fachie paired with a new pilot in Pete Mitchell but the result was the same - more success, gold medals and world records. At the 2014 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Aguascalientes, Mexico, the pair stunned the cycling world when they became the first tandem to break the magical minute barrier in the kilo, their time of 59.640 breaking Fachie’s own world record on the way to the gold medal.

There was a second gold for Fachie, in the sprint at those world championships and another world record, in the flying 200-metre qualifying with a time of 9.711 seconds, on the way to beating Australia 2-0 in the gold medal final.

Fachie was just as successful on home turf, in that summer’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games, where the Scotsman was re-united with MacLean and the duo delighted the home crowds by winning the kilo and sprint golds.

The pairing with Mitchell continued to be successful and the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships of 2015, in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, and a year later in Montichiari saw them win double gold.

Fachie, whose off-bike achievements include a physics degree from the University of Aberdeen as well as an honorary degree from the same institution, arrived at Rio 2016 concentrating on the tandem time trial event, the sprint competition having been removed from the Paralympic programme.

Despite an excellent effort with his partner Mitchell, Fachie narrowly missed out on gold by less than half a second to Dutch rider Tristan Bangma, adding Paralympic silver to his impressive collection.

GREAT BRITAIN CYCLING TEAM KIT

Great Britain Cycling Team kit

Neil Fachie
Neil Fachie

Palmarès

2016
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Montichiari (Italy) Kilo Gold
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Montichiari (Italy) Sprint Gold
Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Kilo Silver
2015
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Apeldoorn (Holland) Kilo Gold
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Apeldoorn (Holland) Sprint Gold
2014
Commonwealth Games, Glasgow (UK) Kilo Gold
Commonwealth Games, Glasgow (UK) Sprint Gold
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Aguascalientes (Mexico) Kilo Gold
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Aguascalientes (Mexico) Sprint Gold
2012
Paralympic Games, London (UK) Kilo Gold
Paralympic Games, London (UK) Sprint Silver
UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships, Los Angeles (USA) Kilo Silver
2011
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Montichiari (Italy) Kilo Gold
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Montichiari (Italy) Sprint Gold
2009
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Manchester (UK) Kilo Gold
UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, Manchester (UK) Sprint Gold