Equestrianism: Team GB's Sophie Wells wins second silver of Paralympics

 

Great Britain's Sophie Wells won her second silver medal of the Paralympic Games at Greenwich Park today.

Wells, a member of the gold medal-winning British dressage team, produced a personal best score of 81.150% aboard Pinocchio in the Grade IV freestyle.

It was not enough for the title, though, as Belgium's Michele George and Rainman eclipsed them with her own personal best 82.100%.

The result was a repeat of the Grade IV individual championship two days ago, while Holland's Frank Hosmar and Alphaville claimed bronze.

Wells' medal took the British tally at Greenwich to nine, one behind their Paralympic record of four years ago, and there are two events still remaining.

Deb Criddle has an outstanding medal chance in Grade III freestyle, and Sophie Christiansen will bid for her third gold of the Games in the Grade Ia equivalent.

Wells, 22, had been fired up to avenge her defeat on Sunday, but it was not to be as George - 15 years her senior - did just enough for double gold.

"I had to take some risks today to have a chance of beating Michele," said Wells, who is from Newark in Nottinghamshire.

"Some of the risks paid off, some of them maybe didn't, but I am absolutely thrilled with my horse. He has coped like a star with the atmosphere.

"You win some, you lose some. You have got to come back fighting, and I loved it in that arena. It has been an absolute dream to compete here.

"I had a small mistake in one of the tempo changes, which affected my last halt, but I have come here and got three personal bests with my three rides."

Wells, the reigning world and European Paralympic champion who has competed successfully in non-disabled competitions, now hopes to compete Pinocchio at grand prix level next year.

"There is life after London, and we are next on to Rio in four years' time, although I don't know how we will quite be able to top London.

"I suppose I am slightly disappointed because we did come here for gold, but to come away with two silvers and a gold and make a big contribution to the team medal is amazing."

PA

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