Storey eases to fourth gold

06 September 2012 / 17:39

Swimmer-turned-cyclist Sarah Storey won her 11th Paralympic title with an imperious victory in the women's C4-5 road race at Brands Hatch. It was her fourth gold of the London 2012 Games.

Storey joined Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson as Britain's most successful female Paralympian with a dominant performance to triumph in the 64-kilometre race.

The 34-year-old from Manchester, who won her first title as a 14-year-old swimmer in Barcelona in 1992 and her 10th in the time-trial on Wednesday, attacked from the start of the eight-lap event and finished in one hour 40 minutes, ahead of the men's C1-3 field which started in front of her.

In taking her Paralympic gold medal total to 11 - and 22 medals in all - Storey equalled Grey-Thompson and swimmer David Roberts' haul. Mike Kenny won 16 gold medals as a swimmer from 1976 to 1988, with some of his successes coming in a 25-metre pool.

"To be even on the same page as Tanni, to have won 11 is just a dream come true," she told Channel 4. "I don't know if it will ever sink in."

Storey was in contention for a place in the Olympic team pursuit squad until last December and it is feasible she could double up at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016, aged 38, as she continues her stellar career.

Poland's Anna Harkowska was seven minutes 22 seconds behind and Kelly Crowley of the United States was further adrift in third.

Storey, who was born with a partly-formed left hand, was 41secs clear of the field at the end of the first circuit and caught up with the men's C1-3 race, featuring Shaun McKeown and Mark Colbourne, before roaring past.

At half distance, after 32km, Storey was 4:51 ahead of her three nearest rivals, with Lane in fifth, 23secs further adrift.

With three laps to go, Storey led by 5:28 and she continued to extend her advantage in a thrilling show of supremacy. She was able to free-wheel over the line, acknowledging the crowd's cheers, before crossing the line.