World records tumbled in the pool and on the cycling track on Thursday, as the first day of competition at the London Paralympics got under way and China won the Games’ first gold medal.
At the Velodrome, seven-time Paralympic champion Sarah Storey — who won five swimming titles before taking two more when she switched to cycling in 2008 — clocked a new world best 3min 32.170sec in the women’s C5 3km individual pursuit.
The 34-year-old British cyclist’s time was quicker than the winner of the same event for non-disabled athletes at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup event held at the same venue in February.
Joanna Rowsell, who was a member of the British women’s team that won gold in the team pursuit at the Olympics earlier this month, won that race in 3:32.364.
Storey, who was born without a functioning left hand, now races against Anna Harkowska of Poland in the final and said the crowd had spurred her on to the record.
Meanwhile two other world records were set in qualifying for the women’s C1-2-3 3km individual pursuit: Zeng Sini, a C2 rider from China, broke the world best to book a place in the gold medal race against Australia’s Simone Kennedy.