Paralympics 2012: Great Britain surpass 103-medal target in style

 

Great Britain surpassed their 103-medal target for the 2012 Paralympics in emphatic style.

Among the six golds won on Thursday was Hannah Cockroft's in the T34 200m - ParalympicsGB's 104th medal at London.

David Weir then won a tense T54 800m - his third gold of the Games - before Jonnie Peacock ran the fastest T44 100m in Paralympic history.

The 19-year-old won in a time of 10.90 seconds as 'Blade Runner' Oscar Pistorius could finish only fourth.

Earlier, Sarah Storey's victory in the cycling road race gave her an 11th Paralympic gold medal, equalling the tallies of Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and David Roberts.

Medal table as of 6 September

Medal table as of 6 September

Fifteen-year-old swimmer Josef Craig also took gold in the S7 400m freestyle.

It came after sailor Helena Lucas won the first gold of the day in the 2.4mR class.

A silver medal for Heather Frederiksen in the pool had taken the GB tally to 103 medals - one more than the haul from the team in Beijing with three days of competition still remaining - before Cockroft's triumph.

Liz Nicholl, chief executive of UK Sport, said: "To win at least 103 medals is a fantastic achievement particularly when you consider Paralympic sport is becoming hugely competitive with more nations investing significant resources in success."

ParalympicsGB chef de mission Craig Hunter said: "It is testament to the talent, dedication and skill of the athletes who make up the team as well as to their support staff and to the funding we receive from the National Lottery and commercial partners."

But he added: "The final target remains to finish second overall in the medal table. We know that this will be a close-run thing with three more days to go."

Cockroft took the overall medal tally to 104 at the Olympic Stadium to signal the start of a successful evening on the track for Britain.

The 20-year-old Halifax racer, the world record holder and the 100m champion, finished in 31.90 seconds, more than two seconds clear of the field.

Six-time London Marathon winner Weir, 33, then took 800m gold in a nail-biting race to further extend ParalympicsGB's medal haul.

"That was hard work," he said. "I just had to dig deep."

Arguably the moment of the Games came when teenage world record holder Peacock, who lost his right leg below the knee after contracting meningococcal septicaemia at the age of five, destroyed a 100m field that also included South African Pistorius - the face of the Games.

Pistorius said: "We witnessed one of the great Paralympic performances. He's still young. He's got a great future ahead of him."

Peacock said: "We have had a great day. Hannah opened up the evening with a gold straight away and I knew David was going to win. It was just unreal."

Earlier, Storey, 34, won her fourth gold of the Games when she crossed the line more than seven minutes ahead of her rivals.

The all-time British record belongs to Mike Kenny, who won 16 golds in the four games up until 1988 - which predates the modern Paralympics.

Storey attacked almost from the gun at Brands Hatch and increased her lead throughout the race, with no other rider able to match her.

She told BBC Radio 5 live: "The records are lovely things to talk about but each race is an achievement, each is hard fought. Just being able to say that you have won for your country is a great honour."

In the pool, Craig set a new world record as he took gold for Great Britain in the men's S7 400m freestyle.

The teenager said: "I wanted to start [my career] in Rio [2016], but I now want to go there and smash that [world record] again."