Thursday, December 9

‘I just want a pork pie’: judoka Skelley triumphs on the golden day of the Paralympic GamesGB | Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

ParalympicsGB collected a first judo gold from the Tokyo Games, with Chris skelley triumphed in the men’s -100 kg event, and the British rowers were also on top of the podium for the first time, with victories in the mixed double sculls and the four mixed coxed.

the dressage team It also triumphed at the Tokyo Equestrian Park, with the trio of Lee Pearson, Natasha Baker and Sophie Wells adding to its medals from individual events.

The 28-year-old Skelley entered the Games as world number one and lived up to that number with a narrow win over American Ben Goodrich in what was a gold medal match for attrition.

“It has been a long road for the last 11 years. It was tough after Rio, ”said Skelley, who finished fifth at the 2016 Games.” He put a big goal on my back, so I needed to get here and train even harder to stay where I am. “

Skelley’s eyesight began to deteriorate when he was 17, forcing him to stop playing rugby and quit his apprenticeship to become an auto mechanic. Eventually he was diagnosed with ocular albinism.

“Eleven years ago, I was in the darkest part of my life because I had nothing left. The only thing left was my judo. For that to come true today, I can’t believe it. “

“That was the darkest part. Working to achieve it and have it taken away. I never expected to do this for work. It is my hobby. I love it because I love judo. And stay here and talk to you now as a Paralympic champion… I have no words. I just want a pork pie. “

The four Brits celebrate gold in the four mixed coxed
The four Brits celebrate gold in the four mixed coxed. Photograph: OIS / Bob Martin / REX / Shutterstock

Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley claimed the regatta’s first British rowing medal in mixed double sculls, coming home almost five seconds ahead of the Netherlands in second place. That was quickly followed by gold for the British quartet of Ellen Buttrick, Giedre Rakauskaite, James Fox and Ollie Stanhope, plus cox Erin Kennedy, who were imperious in all four mixed coxed, finishing more than 11 seconds ahead of second-placed. , USA.

“They are 11 years undefeated now,” said Fox, now a double Paralympic champion. “We are incredibly hard on ourselves, we are always pushing the standards, complacency is not an option for us. We’re always pushing the pace, that’s why we can go out there and do races like that. “

The dressage team exceeded expectations and took gold despite the team being ridden on largely inexperienced horses. “I don’t think any of us would expect that in a million, trillion, trillion years to be honest with you,” said Baker, who added gold to his silver in the individual event. “We are all immensely proud of everything our horses have done these last few days and the way they have handled it. They have been professionals. We were hoping to come and maybe fight for a bronze medal. “

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There were also more medals in the pool for the Paralympic GamesGB. Louise fiddes collected a silver medal in SB14 100m breaststroke for women, 17 years old Ellie challis equaled that feat in the S3 women’s 50m backstroke, and Scott quin he won bronze in the SB14 men’s 100m breaststroke.

And there was another fencing silver on the track, with the GB men’s team foil they narrowly lost to China in the gold medal match.

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