Tokyo Paralympics: Neil and Lora Fachie both win Paralympic gold for GB

Venue: Tokyo, Japan Dates: 24 August-5 September Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Coverage: Follow on Radio 5 Live and on the BBC Sport website

Neil Fachie said it was “beyond our dreams” after he and wife Lora both won Paralympic cycling gold within the space of 16 minutes.

There was also gold for the mixed team sprint with Kadeena Cox and Jaco van Gass winning their second titles in Tokyo and Jody Cundy claiming his eighth career Paralympic success, as the track cycling events came to a close.

Neil and pilot Matt Rotherham smashed their own world record to beat team-mates James Ball and Lewis Stewart for gold in the B 1000m time trial.

They surpassed their old time of 59.278 seconds with a new mark of 58.038 to give Neil his second Paralympic gold after he won with Barney Storey at London 2012.

And shortly afterwards, Lora and Corrine Hall successfully retained their B 3,000m pursuit crown.

The pair qualified fastest for the final, also setting a world record, and finished just under two seconds ahead of Ireland’s Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal in the final with Britain’s Sophie Unwin and Jenny Holl winning bronze.

The sprint team had qualified second-fastest for their decider where they took on China and after Cox put in a blistering opening lap to give them a narrow advantage, first Van Gass and then Cundy kept the pressure on to win by 0.106secs.

There was also a second gold medal for swimmer Maisie Summers-Newton as she followed up Thursday’s SM6 200m individual medley success with victory in the SB6 100m breaststroke final, with team-mate Ellie Simmonds fourth.

Sharing the moment together

Neil and Lora Fachie embrace after their medal ceremonies
Lora and Neil Fachie embrace after their medal ceremonies at the Izu Velodrome

Neil and Lora had experienced mixed fortunes at London 2012 and Rio 2016 with Tokyo the first Paralympics were both made the top step of the podium at the same Games.

Neil, 37, started his career as a sprinter in Beijing before switching to the bike and winning a gold and silver in London and silver in Rio. Lora, 32, failed to win a medal in London but along with Hall claimed gold and bronze four years later.

“There are days that are good in the relationship and there are days like today which we’ll never forget,” Neil told BBC Breakfast.

“We knew this day would be our big one. It was the same in Rio: Lora got the gold, I got the silver. Back in London, I got gold and Lora missed out.

“Of course we’re happy for each other but when you’re the one who wins, it’s harder, because you know how much the other one is hurting.

“So finally we’ve managed to both do it together, and to both break the world record as well is beyond our dreams.

“We hoped this would happen, but for it to actually come together is mind-blowing.”

Lora was born with a hereditary eye condition. She lost her sight when she was five and had to leave guide dog Tai at home while she travelled to Tokyo.

Despite her sight loss, she is a keen cook and in her spare time writes a food blog.

“We want each other to win but it doesn’t change anything if we don’t. It was great to see Neil go and do an absolutely cracking time,” she said.

“It’s a lot more stressful watching someone you care about racing than actually doing it yourself.”

While Neil’s Paralympic programme is at an end, Lora goes again in Tuesday’s tandem road race and Friday’s time trial.

GB wheelchair rugby team set for final

The wheelchair rugby team reached their first Paralympic final with a thrilling 55-49 victory over hosts and world champions Japan and will face the USA on Sunday (10:00 BST) after they beat reigning champions Australia 49-42.

Elsewhere, defending table tennis class 7 champion Will Bayley is guaranteed at least a silver after saving match point to beat China’s Liao Keli 3-2 and reach Sunday’s final. There are bronzes for Tom Matthews (class 1), Jack Hunter-Spivey (class 5) and Paul Karabardak (class 6), who all lost their semi-finals.

Mickey Yule, who lost his legs while serving with the British Army in Afghanistan in 2010, won bronze in powerlifting’s -72kg event.

And wheelchair fencer Dimitri Coutya won his third bronze medal – this time in the foil B event.

But there was no joy for GB on the opening day of the triathlon with Fran Brown fourth in the women’s PT2 event and the same result for Alison Peasgood and guide Nikki Bartlett in the women’s PTVI race. In the men’s PTVI race, there was heartbreak for Dave Ellis and guide Luke Pollard who suffered a snapped bike chain.

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