Cycling: Team GB's Rachel Morris awarded bronze despite attempt to share medal by holding hands across finishing line

 

Great Britain's Rachel Morris was awarded bronze as she and Karen Darke took a medal apiece from the London 2012 Paralympic Games after crossing the finish line of the women's H1-2 road race holding hands in a failed bid to share third place.

Morris and Darke, who won time-trial silver on Wednesday, finished one minute 34 seconds behind Marianna Davis of the United States and despite their best efforts to finish together and share bronze, Morris placed third in a photo finish at Brands Hatch. Darke was fourth.

Monica Bascio, another American, was second, 33 seconds behind, before the British duo rode towards the final place on the podium at the end of the 48-kilometre race.

"Halfway around the last lap we had dropped everybody else and we knew we weren't going to catch the Americans and we were safe for bronze," Morris said.

"We have worked so hard together these last two years we couldn't bear the thought of crossing the line ahead of each other so we grabbed our hands together 50 metres out and went through the line together."

Officials denied the opportunity for the pair to share Britain's 21st cycling medal of the Games - surpassing the 2008 total of 20 - and Morris had to collect bronze alone.

The 33-year-old from Guildford won time-trial gold in Beijing, but was injured and had her bike written off in an accident with a car in July which left her place in London in doubt. She was fifth in the time-trial on Wednesday.

Morris told Channel Four: "I've not had the best lead-in to this Games. This bronze medal means more than gold. It just means everything."

Darke said: "I'm delighted for Rachel. She so deserves it.

"I had a medal the other day so we both have something to celebrate."

David added road race gold to her time-trial victory on Wednesday.

Ireland's Mark Rohan won his second event of the Games with victory in the men's H1 road race.

Rohan finished two seconds ahead of Tobias Frankhauser, with Wolfgang Schattauer of Austria third.

"This was an amazing race, it was so hard, there were six of us going round the fourth lap," Rohan said.

"The guys we thought would be there weren't there, so it was a bit of a shock. You start thinking about the time trial, 'Have those guys saved themselves for this road race?'

"I knew, if it came down to a sprint, I had a good chance to take him (Frankhauser). I had to work hard those last two laps.

"It's such a relief to get them (two golds). We worked so hard for the last nine months."

PA

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