Dame Sarah Storey makes history as ParalympicsGB enjoy golden start to Games

Ross McLean
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2016 Rio Paralympics - Day 1
Storey has won 12 Paralympic gold medals (Source: Getty)

Para-cyclist Dame Sarah Storey was elevated to the status of the nation’s most successful female Paralympian of all time after winning the 12th gold medal of her career on a glory-filled opening day of the Paralympic Games for Great Britain.

The 38-year-old moved beyond wheelchair racer Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson with her latest gold after she caught fellow Briton Crystal Lane, who had to be content with silver, after 1,375m of the C5 3,000m individual pursuit on Thursday.

“I’ve not thought about being the most decorated Paralympian until two days ago, Tanni’s still a hero for me,” said Storey. “It’s amazing and I don’t think it will sink in for a very long time.”

Fellow para-cyclist Megan Giglia had earlier won Great Britain’s first medal of the Games by sealing gold in the C1-3 individual pursuit, while Stephen Bate and pilot Adam Duggleby won gold in the 4,000m individual pursuit.

In the pool, Beth Firth successfully defended her S14 100m backstroke crown, Ollie Hynd triumphed in the men’s S8 400m freestyle, Harriet Lee took silver in the women’s SB9 100m breaststroke, Stephanie Millward snared bronze in the S8 400 freestyle and Jessica-Jane Applegate secured bronze in the S14 100m backstroke.