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Historic gold for injured war hero Butterworth

Published 12/09/2016

Great Britain's rowers led the way on a golden start to day four at the Rio Paralympics, which featured a momentous success for Jon-Allan Butterworth, who was injured while serving in Iraq. Britain's rowers won three gold medals from four finals in a dominant performance.

Lora Turnham and her pilot Corrine Hall added another track cycling title, before Butterworth combined with Jody Cundy and Louis Rolfe to win the mixed C1-5 team sprint.

Butterworth claimed three silver medals at London 2012 and his gold as part of the team success was significant for British service personnel injured in Iraq or Afghanistan. It was the first time a veteran injured in those conflicts has won Paralympic gold.

The 30-year-old from Sutton Coldfield was a weapons technician working in Basra when he was caught in a rocket attack and had to have his left arm amputated as a result of his injuries.

Rachel Morris, who switched from cycling to rowing after London 2012, was Britain's first medal winner of day four. The 37-year-old from Guildford won arms-shoulders single sculls, claiming Paralympic gold in a second sport eight years after cycling time-trial gold in Beijing.

Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley triumphed in the double sculls event and the mixed coxed four team were victorious, too, taking Britain's tally to 18 gold medals.

Then Turnham and Hall claimed Britain's seventh gold at the velodrome with victory in the tandem three-kilometres pursuit. Sophie Thornhill and pilot Helen Scott took bronze. Lauren Steadman took PT4 triathlon silver at Copacabana beach and rower Tom Aggar arms-shoulders single sculls bronze at Lagoa.

The successes took ParalympicsGB's tally to 20 golds and 44 medals in all.

Belfast Telegraph

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