PAR­A­LYMPICS

The Herald - Herald Sport - - RUGBY UNION, PARALYMPICS -

LIBBY CLEGG claimed the un­prece­dented suc­cesses of the Bri­tish team can be sus­tained as the Par­a­lympic Games came to a close in Rio last night with a to­tal of 147 medals leav­ing the UK sec­ond in the over­all stand­ings be­hind China,

Eas­ily ex­ceed­ing UK Sport’s tar­get of 113, it was 27 more than at Lon­don 2012 – and the most since Seoul in 1988 – with the 26-yearold’s dou­ble gold on the ath­let­ics track head­lin­ing a tally of 17 medals claimed by Scots, in­clud­ing three apiece for fel­low sprinter Maria Lyle and swim­mer An­drew Mullen.

And with Dame Sarah Storey’s 14th Par­a­lympic ti­tle in Sat­ur­day’s cy­cling road race now leav­ing her just two short of swim­mer Mike Kenny, the most suc­cess­ful Bri­tish Par­a­lympian of all-time – plus new and es­tab­lished faces step­ping up in Brazil – Clegg be­lieves the band­wagon that started rolling at Lon­don 2012 can main­tain its mo­men­tum.

“The team has gone from strength to strength since Lon­don four years ago and I’m sure we will con­tinue this into the next four years and on to Tokyo,” she said. “Both Jo But­ter­field and I have won gold medals and Stef Reid and Maria Lyle took sil­ver and bronze in ath­let­ics. There is a strong Scot­tish pres­ence in the Olympic and Par­a­lympic sides across a num­ber of sports and long may that con­tinue. Suc­cess in­spires peo­ple to fol­low in foot­steps and hope­fully peo­ple will look at us and think, ‘I want to be like them’.”

There were no ad­di­tions to the medal count on the fi­nal day of ac­tion of Rio 2016 with Fife-based run­ner Derek Rae forced to pull out while sit­ting in fourth place in the marathon and David Weir com­plet­ing a mis­er­able Games empty-handed when a col­li­sion forced his wheel­chair off the road to end his hopes of de­fend­ing his last re­main­ing ti­tle. WHEEL­CHAIR RAC­ING SAMMI KINGHORN said her stint in Rio will help her chal­lenge for the podium at Tokyo 2020, de­spite re­turn­ing empty-handed from her de­but Par­a­lympics. The Borderer, 20, fin­ished sixth in the T52 800 me­tres – her third fi­nal of the Games – af­ter low­er­ing her own Euro­pean record by four se­conds in the heats. “I’ve en­joyed ev­ery race and I’ve learnt so much,” Kinghorn said. “I never thought three-and-a-half years ago I’d be com­pet­ing in my first Par­a­lympics in such a short time. Tokyo bet­ter be ready.” SWIM­MING ABBY KANE ad­mit­ted she’d stunned her­self by land­ing swim­ming sil­ver at the age of 13 with a sparkling show­ing in the 100m back­stroke S13 fi­nal. The vis­ually-im­paired school­girl, from Ayr­shire, whose coach Sharon McIn­tyre had threat­ened to quit if she didn’t re­turn from Rio with a medal, saw the Par­a­lympic record she set in the heats get oblit­er­ated by Ukrainian gold medal­list Anna Stet­senko. But Kane, who has en­dured two-hour round trips ev­ery morn­ing be­fore school to train at Bar­rhead Pool, un­der­lined she will be one to watch by hold­ing her own and seiz­ing sec­ond place.

“I don’t know how I feel, I’m speech­less, I’m so happy,” she said. “I never ex­pected to come to Rio at all, so I’m re­ally happy. It’s been amaz­ing.”

Fel­low Scot An­drew Mullen took his tally to three medals with a bronze medal in the 100m freestyle S5 to go with the sil­ver and bronze he earned last week as Brazil­ian favourite Daniel Dias took his per­sonal gold count to 13.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.