Whilst the Games has produced many moments of joy, including plenty from yesterday, the news of the death of Iranian cyclist, Bahman Golbarnezhad, casts something of a shadow over the last few hours of competition.
Golbarnezhad died of his injuries after a serious crash in the C4-5 road race. In a statement released by the Iranian Paralympic Committee, he was described as an “Exemplary Paralympic sportsman who, with love and energy, tried his best to promote the name of Iran”.
Golbarnezhad’s death is the first in competition at a summer Olympics or Paralympics since Danish cyclist Knud Enemark Jensen in the 100km team time trial at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
Dame Sarah Storey, Britain’s most decorated female Paralympian, continued to dominate, winning her third gold of the Games with victory in the women’s C4-5 Road Race – her 14th career Paralympic title. Kadeena Cox pulled out of the race before the start, citing a hamstring injury but her GB teammate Crystal Lane, took bronze.
“I keep pushing myself in the knowledge my rivals are going to catch me and thankfully it’s not yet,” said Storey.
Steve Bate and Adam Duggleby, took bronze in the B Road Race.
ParalympicsGB celebrated a rare one-two-three courtesy of archers, Jess Stretton, Jo Frith and Vicky Jones who took gold, silver and bronze respectively in the W1 Individual Archery.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, Stretton, 16, said “I had to try to tell myself to keep calm because I did feel under pressure and sometimes I can freak out because of that.
I had to trick myself into thinking it was just another shooting session which was quite difficult – but I managed it.”
Frith, meanwhile added another title when she and John Walker won the Mixed Team Archery event with a 139-129 win over South Korea.
ParalympicsGB concluded their campaign in the pool with yet more success yesterday. Bethany Firth, 20, won the SM14 200m Individual Medley in style to take her third gold medal of the Games with teammate, Jessica-Jane Applegate coming in behind her for silver.
Ollie Hynd also became a double-gold winner by taking the SM8 200m Medley title in a World Record time of 2 mins 20.01 secs and Hannah Russell also secured a second gold with victory in S12 50m Freestyle.
Stephanie Millward, took silver in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley with 18-year-old Tom Hamer achieving silver in the men’s event.
One of the surprise turns was Scotland’s Abby Kane, who at just 13 years of age grabbed silver in the S13 100m Backstroke, telling Channel 4 that “I’m speechless because I’m so happy. It’s been a great experience.”
Other British swimming successes included Ellie Robinson’s bronze in the S6 100m Freestyle and Andrew Mullen’s third place in the 100m Freestyle. Brazil’s Daniel Dias won the race and his fourth gold of the Games.
In athletics, Paul Blake (T36 800m) took bronze as did Maria Lyle (T35 200m). Sailors, Helena Lucas (One-Person Keelboat 2.4mR) and Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell (Two-Person Keelboat SKUD18) also won bronze.
ParalympicsGB’s wheelchair basketball team won bronze by beating Turkey 82-76 in a tight match. A three-point sore from Terry Bywater gave them a lead that they were able to hang on to as the buzzer sounded.
Teammate, Simon Munn, said afterwards: “Terry Bywater, what a man. Tremendous heart from the GB boys, just unbelievable.”