Paralympics: Storey writes a new chapter for Britain

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Sarah Storey won track cycling gold for Great Britain at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester yesterday. After the host nation won six titles on Thursday – including one for Storey in the LC1-2/CP4 500 metres time trial – the Beijing champion then returned to the track yesterday to win the three-kilometre pursuit.

The 31-year-old won in three minutes 46.03 seconds, some 10 seconds outside her own world record she set in China last summer although she has not rested for the event in the North west.

Storey, who was born with a deformed left hand, rides in the LC1 category (for athletes having minor or no lower limb disability) and was in competition with LC2 (for those with a disability in one leg but who are able to pedal normally using two legs, with or without prostheses) and CP4 (for cerebral palsy athletes with the least severe disability).

She had mixed feelings after the race despite claiming her third Paralympic World Cup crown. She said: ''It's always good to win. I can't say I am pleased with the time. I set off the quickest time I've ever done for the first kilo, just because that is what I'm going to do to get faster. I'm very consistent after I settle into the schedule after the first lap.

''I went about a second quicker for the first kilo than I did in Beijing but then I started to pay for it. I just need to work a little bit harder in training.

''I'm not rested," she added. "I missed a lot of training in November and December because I was following the media circus and enjoying myself after the Olympics. It's the same time I did this time last year so in that sense I've not gone backwards.''

British trio Mark Bristow, Jody Cundy and Darren Kenny were fastest through to the team sprint final where they will face the Czech Republic.

Simon Jackson and Barney Storey will ride off against Neil Fachie and David Readle in the B/VI sprint.

Meanwhile, Paralympic basketball champions Australia cruised into the World Cup final with a 48-35 triumph over Great Britain. The hosts could not recover from an eight-point first quarter deficit, with Tristan Knowles pouring in 15 points for Australia and Shaun Norris adding 10. Dan Highcock scored 13 points to lead the scoring for Britain. They will meet either the United States or Germany in the battle for third.

Britain's women are also in the third/fourth-placed play-off after losing their semi-final earlier yesterday. Garry Peel's team will meet China in the battle for bronze after a 54-34 semi-final defeat to defending champions Netherlands.

Clare Strange scored 10 points but fine individual scoring efforts from Inge Huitzing and Elsbeth van Oostrom, with 19 and 15 respectively, and a resolute defensive display helped Netherlands through to the gold medal showdown with Mexico at the weekend.

Despite both the men's and women's British teams losing all four of their games so far, they remain bullish and are looking at the bigger picture.

''This is a great tournament for us to play different sorts of players and give them experience,'' said men's assistant coach Sinclair Thomas. ''But it doesn't mean anything here. It's getting experience for the mission ahead.''

That mission is to equal or better the performances at the last two Paralympic Games, when Britain picked up bronze in Athens in 2004 and in Beijing last September.

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