Tokyo Paralympics: Nice Britain ends video games with two extra bronze medals
|Venue: Tokyo, Japan Events: August 24-September 5 Time in Tokyo: BST +8|
|Cover: Follow on Radio 5 Live and on the BBC Sports website|
Great Britain picked up two more bronzes on the last day of action of the Paralympics in Tokyo to bring down the curtain on more successful games.
The men’s wheelchair basketball team beat Spain 68:58, finishing third for the second year in a row, while Krysten Coombs took bronze in the men’s SH6 badminton singles.
Previously, David Weir finished fifth in the men’s T54 marathon when the Swiss Marcel Hug won his fourth gold of the games.
This means that with 41 gold, 38 silver and 45 bronze medals, GB ranks second behind China in the medal table, making a total of 124.
They won medals in 18 of the 19 sports they competed in and only missed the shooting.
Britain won 64 gold and 147 medals in Rio 2016, but was helped by the lack of Russian athletes in those higher totals Prohibited after revelations of state-organized doping.
Her Tokyo records are higher than the 34 gold medals and 120 total medals won on home soil in London in 2012.
ParalympicsGB head of mission Penny Briscoe told BBC Radio 5 Live that the team “The history books rewritten” and praised their “phenomenal efforts”.
GB rely on “heart” to finish on a high
Wheelchair basketball coach Gaz Choudhry said the win over Spain was the result of “resilience and courage”.
Choudhry took over the coaching duties after the head coach Haj Bhania tested positive for Covid-19 before leaving for Japan.
After the bitter disappointment over the defeat against Japan in the semi-finals on Friday, GB had to improve again. After trailing 30:28 at break, they put down a stormy third quarter to end it 50:40, holding in the final quarter for a fourth bronze from their last five games.
Choudhry got the highest score with 19 points and Terry Bywater paid tribute to the 36-year-old’s role during the games.
“We can’t say enough about Gaz, how he led this team and brought us together – the bond we have in this group is very special,” said Bywater.
“I have five Paralympic bronze medals, but it’s fair to say this means just a little more because of all the sacrifices we’ve made and the tough times we’ve had.”
Choudhry downplayed his own accomplishments
“We’ve had so many setbacks all summer. This game just touched the heart,” he said.
“This bronze medal is for everyone else. We know where we have been, but now we’ve won it, it definitely feels more than a bronze. But this team deserves gold.”
Last day joy for Coombs
Krysten Coombs now wants to compete in Paris in 2024
Coombs, who does some acting outside of his sport and starred in an episode of Game of Thrones, finished fifth in the world at the Paralympics.
A win in the group stage over his teammate Jack Shephard put him in the last four, where he lost to Indian Krishna Nagar.
Despite losing the first game to Brazilian Vitor Tavares, the 30-year-old won 12-21 21-10 21-16, following Dan Bethell’s silver medal in the SL3 event.
“It’s been great to be here, but to win a medal is brilliant,” he told Channel 4.
“I’m shocked and overwhelmed. I can’t believe it, but I’ve worked so hard.
“Paralympic sport will do so much for it all over the world.”
Shooters miss the target in Tokyo
Briton Matt Skelhon and Lorraine Lambert both missed a place in the finals of the final event of the shooting program, the R6 Mixed 50m Rifle prone SH1.
“Today I think I couldn’t take the pressure. I really lost it,” said Skelhon, who won bronze in London in 2012 and was the 2008 Paralympics champion over 10 meters.
“It’s been a really tough week. I’m good outside of competitive training and it showed out there.
“My confidence is low and I’ve tried everything I can, but I think that just put more pressure on me. I gave it my all and it wasn’t enough.
“I think 90% of them are mental – if the equipment is right then the rest is mental – knowing that you are on a level to compete with others, but we haven’t had that without competition in two years. “