5 September 2021

Tokyo 2020: Ten top moments for ParalympicsGB

From boccia brilliance to wheelchair rugby triumph, ParalympicsGB have been Impossible to Ignore in Tokyo.

With medals across 18 sports, a greater range than any other nation, the team’s performances have been a picture of resilience and strength in the toughest of circumstances.

Let us count the ways that British athletes thrilled us in Tokyo.

Celebrating a first title in a team sport

Murderball magnificence

Who can forget where they were when Britain beat USA 54-49 in an unforgettable wheelchair rugby final, with unique characters like Stuart Robinson, Kylie Grimes and Jim Roberts to the fore.

It was ParalympicsGB’s first-ever title in a team sport and maiden medal for a squad that captured the imagination of a nation.

17 Paralympic gold medals... and counting

Nothing like a Dame

29 years after her first as a swimmer, Dame Sarah Storey won a 17th gold medal in the C4-5 road race to succeed Mike Kenny as Britain’s most successful Paralympian of all time.

Lashing rain and fog set an atmospheric backdrop at Fuji Speedway, and suited Storey down to the ground as she led an historic one-two with Crystal Lane-Wright.

A golden smile for Kadeena

Cox does unique double

Trailblazer Kadeena Cox put on a velodrome show in the way only she can to retain her time trial title and lead Britain to team sprint glory in world record time.

Taking on a sporting double for the second time at the Games, she signed off with 400m fourth and a legacy of breaking boundaries that will go down in history.

What an athlete. What a race.

Peacock struts stuff in thriller

Jonnie Peacock’s defence of his 100m T64 title was always going to be good - we just didn’t know it would be that good.

Peacock reached the podium in the tightest-ever Paralympic final, where the top four were separate by four-hundredths of a second, sharing bronze with German Johannes Floors.

Taking the tape - at last

Steadman finally strikes gold

It was well worth the wait for triathlon’s Lauren Steadman, whose long climb to top step of the Paralympic podium ended in Tokyo.

Having missed the medals in 2008 and 2012 as a swimmer and won silver in Rio, Steadman scorched past USA’s Grace Norman - who beat her in Brazil - to victory.

Ellie Robinson's inspirational interview captured the nation

Here’s to you, Ellie Robinson

In her own immortal words, Ellie Robinson lived and then told a tale of triumph not defeat and went out on her own terms in the Tokyo pool.

What the 20-year-old said, about how her worsening Perthes hip impairment made just making the blocks a victory, and how she said it was the defining moment of a unique Games.

Red, and blue, and gold

Showman Smith delivers

It’s never dull when David Smith is around and his third Paralympic gold medal was the one that meant the most.

Sporting a shock of red and blue hair, Smith battled back from 2-0 down to beat Malaysia’s Chew Wei Lun in a pulsating final, making him Britain’s most successful ever boccia player.

A moment that meant so much for Ali Jawad

Jawad does the impossible

Ali Jawad took Chron’s disease further than anyone has taken it before and reaching his fourth Paralympics represented more than a medal ever could.

After self-isolating for three years so as not to jeopardise his chances of making the Games, no Paralympic sixth place has even meant more than the one secured by the powerlifting great.

Cycling's power couple

Fachie’s family affair

Lora and Neil Fachie do everything together but had never won Paralympic gold on the same day.

They finally got their moment in the Izu Velodrome, Lora retaining her 3000m title and Neil getting his kilo crown, both in world record time.

Tears and triumph

Skelley lights up Budokan

When it comes to emotional outpourings, Skelley’s reaction to his -100kg victory was right up there.

The pressure of world No.1 status and coming so close, yet so far in Rio all came out in a tearful and triumphant moment after he beat Ben Goodrich to take gold.

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