Australian cyclist Paige Greco claimed the first gold of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games by winning the women’s track cycling C1-3 3,000m individual pursuit event on Wednesday.
Greco covered the distance in three minutes and 50.815 seconds in the final at the Izu Velodrome in Izu of Shizuoka, refreshing the previous C3 class world record of 3:52.283 she created just hours ago in the qualification.
China’s Wang Xiaomei claimed the silver in 3:54.975, while German cyclist Denise Schindler bagged the bronze in 3:55.120.
During the qualification, China’s Wang and her teammates Zeng Sini and Qian Wangwei all broke the previous world records in their respective classes.
Though only Wang made it to the final, Zeng covered the 3,000m distance in 4:06.263, shattering the previous C2 world record of 4:07.454, while the new C1 world record of 4:31.476 set by Qian was over eight seconds faster than the previous 4:40.123.
Talking to Xinhua after winning the first medal for Team China at the Tokyo Paralympics, Wang said that she felt very happy that she managed to participate in the Games and take the silver medal.
“To some extent, I have regrets that I did not make everything perfect and there are details that can be improved, but this silver medal gives me a great deal of encouragement for me to do better in the future and win a gold medal,” Wang said.
Wang’s coach Li Peng expressed satisfaction with the silver medal winner’s performance in a conversation with Xinhua, adding that “we will make more breakthroughs in terms of training methods and other aspects to challenge both ourselves and our rivals.”
At the Izu Velodrome on Wednesday, Australian cyclist Emily Petricola won women’s track cycling C4 3,000m individual pursuit, and Dame Sarah Storey from Britain won women’s track cycling C5 3,000m individual pursuit. Dutch Paralympic cyclist Tristan Bangma won men’s track cycling B 4,000m individual pursuit event.
XINHUA | TOKYO