Paralympics Day 3: Delight and despair for GB riders in men's tandem kilo, Sarah Storey wins ninth gold

Fachie and Storey win gold with new WR, but Kappes and MacLean latest Britons to miss out through problems at the start

by Simon_MacMichael   September 1, 2012  

Olympic Velodrome during 2012 London TWC (copyright britishcycling.org.uk)

For the second day running, the London 2012 Velodrome has produced delight and disappointment in equal measure for ParalympicsGB’s track cyclists – this time in just one event. Neil Fachie, piloted by Barney Storey, smashed the world record in taking gold in the individual B 1km time trial final, but world champion Anthony Kappes and pilot Craig MacLean were not allowed to complete their ride after twice encountering a problem at the start. On what turned out to be a day to remember for the family, Sarah Storey made it a husband and wife double on the track today as she won the C4/5 500m time trial, the ninth Paralympic gold of her career.

Kappes and MacLean, who won Olympic silver alongside Chris Hoy and Jason Queally in the team sprint at Sydney in 2000, were the last pair out on the track.

To clinch gold they needed to beat the time of 1:01:351 that Fachie and Storey, silver medalists earlier this year in the world championships in Los Angeles, had set moments before.

The first time they attempted to leave the starting gate, however, the chain snapped, and the pair were allowed a restart by the commissaries.

When they pushed off again, however, there was another problem – quite what was not immediately clear – and this time there would be no reprieve.

That meant the gold medal went to Fachie, who at Beijing competed on the athletics track in the 100m and 200m, and Storey, whose wife Sarah won Great Britain’s first gold medal of these Games on Thursday, the eighth Paralympic gold of her career.

Afterwards, Storey, who had piloted Fachie to a silver medal behind their British team mates at the world championships in Los Angeles earlier this year, said: “I am genuinely gutted for Craig and Anthony.

“We are all friends and we train together as a four, they are a great team and they didn't get a chance to ride.

“I've had exactly the same happen to me and I know how they feel.

“The starts are always a bit fraught with tandems, there are normally a lot of mechanicals.”

Silver went to Spain’s Jose Enrique Porto and pilot Jose Antonio Villanueva, with Rinne Oost and Patrick Bos of the Netherlands taking bronze.

During the afternoon session, Sarah Storey got her second gold of London 2012 and her ninth Paralympic gold in total - five in swimming, four in cycling - as she won the C4/5 500m time trial in a time of 36.997 seconds to edge out Jennifer Schuble of the United States.

Another Paralympic swimming and cycling gold medallist, Jody Cundy, controversially ruled out of defending his kilo title yesterday when he was refused a restart after his rear wheel appeared to get stuck in the starting gate, won bronze in the C4 4km individual pursuit. Carol Eduard Novak of Romania took the gold medal race, beating Jiri Jezek of the Czech Republic.

The final event of the afternoon saw Great Britain guaranteed at least a silver medal, with Jon-Allan Butterworth taking on Australia's Michael Gallagher, the pair having both set world records earlier in the day.

The British rider had qualified in a new world's best time of 4:35.026, but that was shattered a few minutes later by Gallagher, who went more than five seconds quicker in a time of 4:30.012.

That performance meant that Butterworth went into the final as underdog, and he went out quickly to try and built an advantage that would at least test his opponent. As the 16 lap race went on, however, Gallagher overturned the Briton's advantage and by the halfway point was well on his way to sealing gold.