Ben Watson capped a golden day for ParalympicsGB’s road cyclists at the Fuji International Speedway with a dominant victory in the men’s C3 time trial.
The 32-year-old followed Dame Sarah Storey’s record-equalling 16th Paralympics gold with his first in a dominant performance.
Watson finished 57 seconds clear of anyone else after finishing in 35:00.82, and admits the display even surprised himself.
“I thought I had gone out far too hard, I saw the Spaniard [Eduardo Asensio] ahead of me and just kept reeling him in.
“It is amazing, it is what I have worked for the last five years. I would tell anyone, if you have an interest and a passion for it, go to one of the talent ID days. That was what I did. At the start of 2016 I was drinking and partying, now I am here. If you have the desire and want it, go get it.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet, I can’t explain it. It is amazing, it is so good to reward the people behind me. I am just really happy to pay them all back with this.”
Watson was the first of three Brits in the C3 event, as Fin Graham crossed the line in fourth – less than three seconds off a medal – and track star Jaco van Gass came home in sixth.
Elsewhere, dual-sport star George Peasgood secured a second medal of the Games with bronze in the men’s C4 time trial to go alongside his triathlon silver on Sunday.
Peasgood’s medal also marked the 1000th won by ParalympicsGB and Team GB since National Lottery funding began in 1997.
“I am really happy with my ride to be honest,” he said. “I didn’t want feedback on what others were doing because it’s a race against the clock.
“I won the Worlds in 2019, so I was the world champion going into this and that brings a bit of pressure. But I have been doing good numbers in training and it was going alright.
“I was kind of expecting a medal but it is one day, one race. That is the magical thing about the Paralympics.”
Lora Fachie also continued her sensational Games with a silver in the women’s B time trial.
Fachie, who won gold on the track alongside pilot Corrine Hall a couple of days ago, finished second behind Ireland’s Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal, while teammate Sophie Unwin crossed the line in fifth.
She said: “I’m feeling a bit wrecked if I’m honest, it was really tough out there!
“Both (guide) Corinne (Hall) and I gave it everything we’ve got and to come away with a silver medal, we’re really chuffed. It’s an improvement from Rio, one step up, so maybe in Paris we’ll go one step up again.”
Meanwhile, Steve Bate did not finish in the men’s B time trial after he and pilot Adam Duggleby suffered a nasty crash on the second lap.
Image courtesy: imagecomms