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Dame Sarah Storey strikes gold as ParalympicsGB pass London haul on day seven

Published 14/09/2016

Dame Sarah Storey races towards her 13th Paralympic gold medal
Dame Sarah Storey races towards her 13th Paralympic gold medal

Dame Sarah Storey led the way as Great Britain won nine gold medals on Wednesday's seventh day of the Rio Paralympics for the best haul of titles since Seoul in 1988.

Storey, who won four gold medals at London 2012, delivered ParalympicsGB's 35th - surpassing the gold tally from four years ago - with victory in the C5 road time-trial on Wednesday morning.

And Hannah Russell's victory in the S12 100 metres backstroke in the swimming pool took Britain above the total number of golds won eight years ago in China.

There were two more golds in cycling and swimming, two in athletics and one in equestrian as Britain surpassed the Beijing bounty of 42 gold medals with the best tally since 64 gold medals were plundered 28 years ago.

"The buzz about the camp is brilliant," Storey said.

"We're not just good at swimming, athletics and cycling... We've got so many sports we're really, really good at and it's exciting."

Eight medals in around an hour at the Aquatics Centre - including three golds - saw Britain close in on the total of 102 medals won at Beijing 2008.

With four full days of competition remaining, Britain have 95 medals, 26 short of the total target set by funding partners UK Sport, with 43 of them gold.

More medals will follow. Three are guaranteed in wheelchair tennis - Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett are in Thursday's doubles final and play each other in Friday's singles final - and the men's and women's wheelchair basketball teams have good chances after progressing to the semi-finals.

Britain's success in the velodrome continued on the road as Storey's 13th Paralympic title and second of Rio 2016 was followed by gold for Karen Darke in the H1-2-3 event and for Steve Bate and his pilot Adam Duggleby in the men's tandem event.

Bate, who also won 4km tandem pursuit gold with Duggleby, said: "We wanted to win this for the whole team. Every time we walk back to the flat someone else has got a medal around their neck."

Storey's only defeat in the last two Paralympics was to Kadeena Cox in last Saturday's C4/C5 500m time-trial.

The 25-year-old from Leeds added T38 400m gold on the athletics track, having earlier taken bronze over 100m.

She is the first Briton in 32 years to win gold medals in two sports at one Games.

She is also entered into Saturday's C4/C5 road race with Storey, but that is to fulfil entry requirements in cycling. Cox has never ridden a road race before.

"It's a dream come true. I'm enjoying every minute," Cox added.

Wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft won her second title of Rio 2016 and fourth in all with victory in the T34 400m, a new event on the programme, and will bid for another over 800m, another new event, on Friday. Kare Adenegan, the 15-year-old from Coventry, took bronze behind her team-mate, as Cockroft set a world record of 58.78 seconds.

Cockroft, who won two titles four years ago, said: "London was incredible, but what makes a better athlete is if you can come back four years later and do that again. I've done that and I've done that in a new event."

Cockroft's triumph came despite a mishap with her racing chair.

"We took the chair back on the bus - I've been doing some training in the village - and unfortunately the bus driver fell over it," she said.

"He bent my forks and my wheel, the wrong way, so I would've gone the wrong way round the track."

Her team-mate Richard Chiassaro fixed it, but missed out on qualifying for Thursday's T54 800m final. David Weir did advance as he seeks a third straight title over two laps and a first medal of Rio 2016 at the third attempt.

Sophie Wells won the grade IV individual championship test on her horse Valerius.

But Lee Pearson's bid for an 11th Paralympic gold goes on as he had to settle for silver in the grade Ib event, on Zion.

Wells said: "I've been crying a lot, it feels pretty good. To be Paralympic champion is amazing."

Britain's first gold medal in the pool on Wednesday night was won by Michael Jones in the S7 400m freestyle, with team-mate Jonathan Fox taking silver.

Next Aaron Moores beat Scott Quin in a British one-two in the S14 100m breaststroke.

Ireland won four medals in the day - taking their tally to seven overall - and two gold medals in the road time-trials, to move to four golds.

The women's tandem time-trial was won by Ireland's Katie Dunlevy and her pilot Evelyn McCrystal in 38:59.22 and Eoghan Clifford won the men's C3 event in 38:21.79.

Colin Lynch claimed silver for Ireland in the men's C2 road time-trial.

Swimmer Ellen Keane also won bronze in the SB8 100m breaststroke.

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