It’s been a busy week for the Tokyo Paralympic track and field team. This morning in the heats of the women’s 100 metres, British sprinter Hannah Cockroft broke her own world best by clocking 10.50 seconds. This came after the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London had been host to the opening ceremony of the Paralympics, and Hannah was hoping to continue her recent good form and end the week on a high note. And that’s exactly what she did.
Hannah Cockroft took the Paralympics by storm with her gold medal in the women’s T44 100m in Rio. Her time of 10.17 seconds was the fastest ever Paralympic women’s track race, edging out legendary Athens 2004 winner, Amy Cure. Charlotte Henshaw then added to the night’s success with a gold in the T37 800m, while Laura Sugar took the glory in the T22 high jump.
The Tokyo Paralympics continued on Friday, when Hannah Cockroft won her seventh gold, and Charlotte Henshaw and Laura Sugar won gold and silver respectively in the T37 400m final; the UK’s Cockroft took the event when she was in a wheelchair and before she became paraplegic in a cycling accident in 1996.
Hannah Cockroft (right) successfully defended her Rio 2016 title, while Kare Adenegan (left) took silver.
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Hannah Cockroft won her eighth Paralympic gold medal with a dominating victory in the T34 800m on day 11 in Tokyo, the first of three British wins.
Cockroft established a new Paralympic record, while Kare Adenegan of the United Kingdom won silver, almost 11 seconds behind.
Charlotte Henshaw won gold in the KL2 200m para-canoe event, while Emma Wiggs finished second.
Laura Sugar won another gold medal in para-canoe, becoming the KL3 champion.
Stuart Wood, who was competing in his first Paralympic Games in Tokyo, won bronze in the VL3 200m final in a close race.
Zak Skinner, who was pushed out of bronze place on the last leap by American Isaac Jean-Paul, lost out on a medal in the T13 long jump by an agonising two centimetres.
Dan Bethell has qualified for the men’s SL3 singles final at 10:30 BST on Saturday, ensuring him at least a silver medal in para-Paralympic badminton’s debut.
Cockroft overcomes a warm-up mishap to win gold.
Cockroft, 29, won her second championship in Tokyo after breaking her own world record to retain her 100m title last Sunday.
In wet circumstances, she established a new Paralympic record of one minute 48.99 seconds, almost 12 seconds faster than her previous Games best.
Adenegan set a lifetime best of 1:59.85, bettering her bronze medal from the race in Rio five years earlier.
Alexa Halko of the United States finished third, while Fabienne Andre of the United Kingdom finished fourth in a new personal best time.
Cockroft quipped, “I’m really devastated.” “I was so close to breaking the world record that I couldn’t have gotten any closer even if I tried.”
“I’m really pleased with gold, but I’m clearly disappointed that I couldn’t go under that time.”
“I set that time in Switzerland on the world’s fastest track, so I’ve got to be pleased of myself for being able to duplicate it here.”
Cockroft stated that she was involved in an accident while warming up for the final, which worried her ahead of the race.
“While the chair was going, I placed my hand into the wheel,” she said. “That’s something I’ve never done before, but I’ve chosen to do it now. It was very bloody, but it’s all right now.”
“I’m very thrilled, and to go sub-two minutes as well, honestly, I’m really happy,” Adenegan remarked after winning her second silver of the Games.
“It gives me a lot of confidence. I’m glad I was able to provide when it mattered most.”
For Henshaw and Sugar, switching sports pays off.
Charlotte Henshaw gave up swimming to pursue her passion for para-canoeing.
Henshaw earned silver in London 2012 and bronze in Rio as a swimmer, but after converting to para-canoe, she finally got the color she desired.
The 34-year-old withdrew from swimming in 2017 to pursue other interests, and the following year she won the KL2 World Championship, which she kept in 2019.
Her teammate Wiggs, who won the Paralympic championship in the race five years ago, was a difficult competitor in Tokyo.
From the start of Saturday’s race, the duo seemed to be destined for gold and silver, drawing away from the rest of the field until Henshaw pushed ahead, establishing a new Paralympic best time of 50.76 seconds.
Wiggs, 41, won VL2 gold on Friday but finished second in her second final, 0.649 seconds behind Henshaw.
“It’s incredible. I am very grateful for the chance to compete for this medal “Henshaw said.
“We weren’t sure whether we’d have this chance twelve, 18 months ago.”
“It was a great race, and Emma and I were able to take the first two spots on the podium once again. It simply goes to show how strong British canoeing is, and I’m delighted to be a part of it.”
Sugar’s switch of sports paid off in Rio, when he participated in athletics.
She was discovered by Para-canoe via the talent identification process in 2018, and three years later, she won Paralympic gold in style, recording a Paralympic best of 49.582.
Nelia Barbosa of France, who won silver, was almost two seconds ahead of her.
Laura Sugar’s gold medal was her first of any color at the Paralympics.
From the start of the VL3 final, Wood, the sole member of the GB para-canoe team competing in Tokyo, seemed poised for a medal, seizing the lead in the early stages.
Curtis McGrath of Australia drew him back, followed by Giovane Vieira de Paula of Brazil, who won gold and silver, respectively.
Wood just missed out on a first medal by 0.033 seconds in a close battle for bronze.
The canoeists from Great Britain finished the Games with seven medals, including three golds, placing them at the top of the medal table in the event.
- paralympic games