Paralympics 2012: Hard work pays off for Mark Colbourne

Mark Colbourne

2012 Paralympics

Date:
Wednesday, 29 August to Sunday 9 September
Coverage:
Extensive daily coverage across 5 live, 5 live sports extra and the BBC Sport website

Cyclist Mark Colbourne has said his Paralympic silver medal is the culmination of two years hard work.

Colbourne won Great Britain's first medal of the 2012 Paralympics with silver in the C1-3 1km time trial.

The Welshman broke his back in 2009 in a paragliding accident and began competitive cycling a year later.

"I've worked for almost two years to get to this stage of my life," Colbourne said.

"Three years ago when I had a terrible near fatal accident, I genuinely thought my life was over as I knew it because I was heavily into sport.

"Then two years ago Neil Smith from Disability Sport Wales put me on a track bike with stabilisers and it just opened up a door for me.

"I've worked very, very hard and raised the bar.

"To be in front of a home crowd in London to pick up my first Paralympic medal is a great achievement for me."

Colbourne, who represented Wales in volleyball, won gold and silver at February's Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles.

The 42-year-old, making his Paralympic Games debut, clocked a time of one minute 08.471 seconds at the Velodrome.

China's Li Zhang Yu won the gold with a world record time of 1:05.021, with Germany's Thomas Graf winning bronze.

"Obviously my aspiration was to win gold," Colbourne added. "The gentleman's [Li] improved quite a lot since February since we raced in Los Angeles.

"Obviously I've PB'd by three seconds which is a big achievement for me.

"I gave it 100% but you've got to accept somebody else was better than me on the day."

Colbourne's attention now turns to Friday's C1 3km individual pursuit and he will also compete on the road in the C1 time trial and C1-3 road race later in the games.