Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games: Dame Sarah Storey wins 17th gold to become Britain’s most successful Paralympian

Dame Sarah Storey made history by becoming Great Britain’s most successful Paralympian after powering back to claim the 17th gold of her glittering career at Tokyo 2020.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 12:34 pm
Updated Monday, 6th September 2021, 12:34 pm

The 43-year-old cycling star trailed veteran German Kerstin Brachtendorf by 75 seconds at one stage of the C4-5 road race at the rain-soaked Fuji International Speedway but underlined her class to snatch glory in a finishing time of 2:21:51.

Away from cycling, Storey has been tasked with inspiring people in Sheffield and South Yorkshire to become more physically active in her role as active travel commissioner for the Sheffield City Region, which she began in 2019.

The mum-of-two had matched Mike Kenny’s long-standing British record of 16 golds on Tuesday by winning the C5 time trial at the same venue.

Great Britain's Sarah Storey celebrates becoming Britain’s most successful Paralympian.

She was already more decorated than swimmer Kenny going into her third and final event of the Games owing to a greater haul of medals, which ahead of the race stood at 27 to his 18.

Storey, who lives near Manchester, was eager to unequivocally stand alone at the top of Britain’s all-time individual medal table and did so in dramatic fashion thanks to preserving her flawless record in Paralympic cycling with a stunning comeback victory.

The former swimmer – whose first five golds came in the pool, beginning at Barcelona ’92 – has now won all 13 bike events entered dating back to her Games debut on two wheels in Beijing in 2008.

“I couldn’t have imagined having eight Games, let alone winning medals at every Games, and 17 of those medals being gold,” she said.

“It’s the dream I didn’t have coming true.”

She added: “I just wanted to be a British athlete, I wanted to compete for my country for as long as I possibly could, and to still be going strong in Games number eight is truly amazing.

“I never felt a weight on my shoulders. It is the sweetest feeling to know that I go back to my room and there’s a couple of gold medals in the safe to put this one with and that makes that tally very real then.”

This week a former Sheffield fireman who broke his neck in a freak accident 10 years ago claimed Paralympic gold as co-captain of Great Britain’s wheelchair rugby team.