GB stormed back into second place in the medal table after producing one of their most impressive performances to date, racking up sixteen medals, including six golds, across four sports.
It was a phenomenal day for cyclist Sarah Storey as she raced to victory, and a fourth London Paralympic gold medal, in the Women’s C4-5 Road Race. It means that the 34 year old has equalled the record 11 gold medals won by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, although Storey has managed to claim golds in two sports – cycling and swimming. She is the only member of the British team thus far to win four gold medals and puts her in the top ten most successful Paralympians from the London Games.
…Frederiksen made it three medals…
Down at the sailing, the British weather worked in GB’s favour as wind prevented the medal races from going ahead. Medals were thus awarded on the basis of rankings as they stood after Wednesday’s races, gifting Britain gold in the 2.4MR one-person keelboat event and bronze in the Sonar three-person keelboat team race. It was a particularly glorious win for solo racer Helena Lucas, who was the only woman racing in the whole class.
From the waters of Weymouth to the water of the Aquatics Centre, where there were more GB medals in store. Heather Frederiksen made it three medals in the Women’s 100m Backstroke, where she managed silver and brought ParalympicsGB up to their pre-Games target of 103 medals.
…Craig had already shattered the world record…
There was also silver in store for GB’s Stephanie Millward in the SM9 200m Individual Medley, with teammate Louise Watkin finishing behind her in third for the bronze. Susie Rodgers also claimed bronze, incidentally GB’s landmark 100th medal of the Paralympics, in the Women’s 400m Freestyle S7.
But Britain’s most impressive swimming performance of the day came from Josef Craig in the S7 Men’s 400m Freestyle. Just fifteen years old, Craig had already shattered the world record in his heats swim, a feat he managed yet again in the final as he stormed to gold.
Three of the nation’s most recognised athletes…
But the British proved most rampant with their successes in the Olympic Stadium, where athletics accounted for half of the day’s medals. Three of the nation’s most recognised athletes even made it to the top of the podium – racing hero David Weir, Hannah ‘Hurricane’ Cockroft and 100m revelation Jonnie Peacock.
Weir looked utterly dominant going into the Men’s 800m T54, setting the standard by finishing top in qualifying. The 33 year old, who has ‘winner’ tattooed on his chest in Japanese, was looking to turn his pair of golds into a hat trick and defend his Beijing title with this race. And so he did, holding off the challenges of Switzerland’s Marcel Hug and China’s Zhang Lixin to claim the gold in a deliciously close finish.
Once again she left her competitors flailing…
Sprinter Hannah Cockroft was also looking to make herself a multi-gold medallist as she went into the T34 Women’s 200m final. Once again she left her competitors flailing in her wake as she stormed to gold, more than two second ahead of second-placed Amy Siemons from the Netherlands and nine seconds in front of teammate Mel Nichols.
“I hit top speed there with a Paralympic record,” she said. “I could have gone quicker with a world record but I can’t complain, the gold medal was what I wanted. This summer has been breath-taking, this is what all the training has been for. It’s fair to say I was nervous, I’m always nervous. I’m really happy though”.
10.9 seconds later and the roars were uncontrollable…
But all eyes were on 19 year old wonder boy Jonnie Peacock in the 100m T44, who had notched up a faster time in the heats than Paralympic legend Oscar Pistorius. The crowds let rip with chants of ‘Peacock’ as the athletes prepared themselves on the start line, roaring so loudly that the young sprinter gestured for them to quieten down. 10.9 seconds later and the roars were uncontrollable, as Peacock crossed the line for gold and left Pistorius trailing in fourth.
Daniel Greaves claimed GB’s only silver of the night in the Men’s Discus f44, managing a season’s best of 59.01m. It was a remarkable achievement for the Loughborough athlete who has now won a medal at each of four consecutive Paralympic Games.
…claiming bronze with a time off 11.23 seconds in the men’s T46 100m.
Four bronze medals rounded up the day’s remarkable haul in the Stadium. Bev Jones made up for disappointment in the shot put to win bronze in the F37 Women’s Discus Throw. Ben Rushgrove managed third with a PB performance in the Men’s 200m T36, while Paul Blake won bronze in the Men’s 800m of the same class. Paralympic newcomer Ola Abidogun also made it onto the podium, claiming bronze with a time off 11.23 seconds in the men’s T46 100m.
It was an impressive range of performances from GB athletes, pushing Britain back up to second place in the medal tables. Russia, though, continue to claim medals across a host of sports. Britain will have to keep up their imperious form to ensure that longed-for second place finish.