Paralympic Games: Day 2 – Gold for Colbourne

Mark Colbourne set a new world record as he won his first ever Paralympic gold medal in the C1 Individual 3km Pursuit while Darren Kenny also broke a world record winning a bronze medal.

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From JAC Sport | Click here for the day 1 Report | 

The Welshman punched the air with delight as he smashed the world record he set in the qualifying heat this morning and proudly waved a GB flag in the air on his lap of honour. He beat China’s Li Zhang Yu with a time of 3:53:88 to follow the silver medal he won yesterday in the C1-2 1km time trial.

Speaking after the race, Mark explained “I’ve trained incredibly hard for this, and I’m just so pleased that I’ve got gold in front of a home crowd”.

Mark broke his back in a paragliding accident in 2009, leaving him with lower leg paralysis and a difficult five months of physiotherapy to learn to walk again. “It’s been a long three years working towards this and I’m thankful for
all the help and support I’ve received. I just can’t believe that I’m here!”

Heartbreak for Jody Cundy
Meanwhile, there was heartbreak for Jody Cundy as he was denied the chance to defend his 1km Time Trial title after officials decided not to allow a restart following what appeared to be a fault with the gate.

He looked every inch the strong, confident rider ready to defend his title in front of the home crowd. As he attempted to pull away from the gate, his back wheel didn’t release on time and it slipped, bringing Jody to hold up his hand and ask for a restart.

Jody had the agonising wait whilst his coach Chris Furber discussed the false start with the commissaires, as the velodrome was filled with the roaring objections and boos of the crowd. Despite protests from Jody and his Great Britain coaches, the commissaires concluded that the false start was not due to faulty equipment and instead it was a rider error, so sadly he would not be allowed to ride in the 1km Time Trial and defend his title.

After taking some time to comprehend the official’s decision, Jody came out to the 6,000 strong crowd and explained: “I would just like to apologise; I had an issue with the gate and my wheel slipped. I was hoping for a restart but it didn’t go my way unfortunately, and I didn’t get to ride and show you exactly what those 4 years of hard work in training have been about.”

“I would like to apologise for my language, I think even over the noise you might have been able to hear it” he explained, to which his fans could be heard shouting for him not to apologise for his earlier outburst.

Given Jody’s unquestionable determination to succeed, he will be sure to not allow today’s events to deter him from putting all his efforts into the 4km Pursuit tomorrow, where he will get the opportunity to show his fans exactly what he has been training for.

Great Britain’s Aileen McGlynn was dethroned as Paralympic B 1km Time Trial champion but secured tandem silver on the second morning at the Velodrome. McGlynn, who is visually impaired, and her sighted pilot, Helen Scott, recorded their fastest time on a tandem together, covering the four laps in one minute 9.469 seconds, but it was not enough to hold off double world champion Felicity Johnson of Australia, piloted by Stephanie Morton.

“I’m a little bit disappointed, but at the same time I’m really pleased to win a silver and it’s good to have got a PB as a team together,” said Glaswegian McGlynn, 39. “I’d like to thank the crowd for coming along and supporting us all so much,” she said of another loud, full house of 6,000 at the track.

The Aussie duo beat the previous Paralympic record, set in Beijing by McGlynn and former partner Ellen Hunter, who stepped away from the sport in 2009. Scott, a 22 year old from Halesowen, was part of GB’s able-bodied under 23 sprint academy and could feature in a future Olympic team. Britain’s second pair, Liverpool’s Lora Turnham and pilot Fiona Duncan, were fourth in 1:11.479, an improvement on sixth place at the World Championships in February and another personal best.

Twenty-three year old Turnham’s target is the longer pursuit event on Sunday, where she expects to win her first Paralympic medal. “We did a PB. We’ve never gone faster and that’s all we can do,” she said. “We don’t train for the Kilo. Sunday is our main event and we’re hoping to podium there. Duncan added: “We know we’re in great shape. We’re fitter and stronger that we’ve ever been.”

In the Men’s C3 Pursuit, Shaun Mckeown finished second to win his first Olympic medal. “I feel I gave it 100% today…I couldn’t of pushed harder than what I did on the last lap” he said afterwards. Meanwhile, former champion, Darren Kenny showed what might have been with a world record ride to take the bronze medal.




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