Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Britain dominates Paralympic Track Cycling

The Track cycling events of Beijing Paralympic Games ended in Laoshan Velodrome here on Wednesday when Britain took three more golds to prove its domination with a total of 12 titles.

Sarah Storey stormed back in the women's individual pursuit of LC1-2/CP4 category to take the gold medal in a new LC1 world record of three minutes and 36.637 seconds. She ripped four seconds off the record she set in the qualifications to snatch the title from Jennifer Schuble of United States by centimeters.
British Anthony Kappes and his pilot Barney Storey celebrate after claiming the title of Men's Sprint final of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games cycling track event on Sept. 10, 2008.
Schuble needed to match the CP4 world record she made in the qualifying rounds to beat Storey but crossed the line just 0.2 second off the pace and had to settle for the silver. She had been crowned in women's 500 metres time trial of LC1-2/CP4 class.

"This Paralympics is really a tough game," said Storey. "So it was difficult for me to take gold or to break the records. I'm satisfied with myself as I did both."

"I'm satisfied with this result, too," said Schuble. "I got two medals at this Paralympics, and got two best times I never had. I rode as fast as I could."

"I felt much pressure. Storey and the British team never failed. And I also felt pressure from cheering spectators, teammates and my coach. I felt pressure from everywhere," said Schuble. "But I achieved my goal and did my best."

Cyclists of China compete in men's team sprint final of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games cycling track event on Sept. 10, 2008.
China was guaranteed a bronze with the third place being fought out between Dong Jingping and Ye Yaping, both in LC2 class, and Dong duly edged out her compatriot racing as full five seconds faster.

In men's sprint of B&VI class, British Anthony Kappes won gold with pilot Barney Storey, edging Aussie Ben Demery and pilot Shaun Hopkins after two straight wins in the best of three race final. It was Kappes' second after he took title in men's 1km time trial on Monday, in which he also beat Demery.

"We have had a good battle with them for three years," said silver medallist Demery. "They have come on the top every time. They are great bike riders, and the British team got a great programme. They ride very well, so I think the best thing is to catch them up one day."

Team Britain also seized the title of men's team sprint of LC1-4/CP3-4 category with three gold-medallists Mark Bristow, Jody Cundy and Darren Kenny. They defeated host Chinese team of Zhang Kuidong, Zhang Lu and Zheng Yuanchao in a three-lap final with an advantage of only one second.

Bristow was gold medallist in men's LC1 1km time trial and Cundy won LC2 time trial while Kenny was winner in CP3 individual pursuit and 1km time trial. They all set world records in their respective events.

"We really enjoy the matches," said Cundy. "The entire Britain team are happy with what we did. It is out of our expectation."

American Barbara Buchan was the only non-British gold winner on Wednesday. She came home first by a margin of 2.316 seconds to spoil the day for Natalie Simanowski of Germany in women's individual pursuit of LC3-4/CP3 class.

Simanowski was racing to go one better than the silver she took in 500m time trial but had to make do with another silver. She was fastest on the track but with the times adjusted with respect their disability levels, Buchan had the edge.

"It's my honour to win gold and I'm so pleased," said Buchan. "Though Simanowski is much younger than me, I think I am a good athlete."

Britain topped the medal standings with 13 medals, 12 of which are golds. Australia also clinched three gold, four silver and six bronze medals. China ranked third with 0-3-3 in the track cycling events.


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