ParalympicsGB roundup: Emma Wiggs storms to dominant canoe sprint gold


Britain’s Emma Wiggs enjoyed a dominant victory in the Va’a paracanoe sprint 200m final as teammate Jeanette Chippington claimed bronze on another successful day for ParalympicsGB in Tokyo.

“It’s just amazing to make history and to do it on a podium with Jeanette again is more than we could have dreamt of,” said Wiggs, who lost the use of her legs while on a gap year aged 18. “I love the fact I can leave my wheelchair on the side of the lake and paddle off, and no-one walking their dog can tell which bits of you work and which bits don’t.”

Wiggs will defend her KL2 title on Saturday. Robert Oliver, who contracted coronavirus just six weeks ago, secured a third British medal of the day at Sea Forest Waterway with bronze in the men’s KL3 class.

Lora Fachie missed out on winning her third Tokyo medal when she finished fifth in the women’s B road race, which was won by Ireland’s Katie-George Dunlevy with her pilot, Eve McCrystal. It was Dunlevy’s second gold of the Games, while Britain’s Sophie Unwin won silver.

Dunlevy, who was diagnosed with deteriorating sight at the age of 11, said: “I would have liked to have been able to say to my younger self then that everything is going to be OK. Just believe in yourself and there are things you can do, and that is what I would tell someone young with sight issues at home watching this.”

China have been dominant in the table tennis throughout the Tokyo Paralympics, and Will Bayley and Paul Karabardak could do nothing to stop Yan Shuo and Liao Keli winning their class six-seven team final in the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. The British pair lost 2-0. Afterwards, Bayley said “We had a chance in the doubles at 10-8 in the second, but that is why they are the champions and we’re not. You have to take those chances, especially against China.”

Taekwondo is making its Paralympics debut in Tokyo, and there was a British silver medal on Friday for Beth Munro. She lost 32-14 to four-time world champion and three-time European champion Lisa Gjessing of Denmark in the K44 -58kg category final.

The British men’s wheelchair basketball team took an early lead in their semi-final against hosts Japan, but eventually succumbed to a 79-68 defeat. They will now contest a bronze medal play-off on Sunday against Spain and try to emulate their 2016 medal. Japan will take on reigning champions USA on Sunday in one of the last sporting moments of the Games.

US swimming star Jessica Long won the women’s 100m butterfly S8 in the Tokyo Aquatics Centre to take her sixth medal of these Games, and her 29th Paralympic medal of all-time, of which 16 are gold. It is not inconceivable she will appear again at the Paris Paralympics, which are just three years away.

There was frustration in the pool, though, for Britain’s Stephen Clegg who was just 0.06sec short of gold in the men’s S12 100m butterfly. ParalympicsGB finished day 10 in second place in the medal table with 37 golds, behind a dominant China who have 85 golds.

Britain are ahead of the athletes of the Russian Paralympic Committee and the USA, who both have 34 golds apiece. The ParalympicsGB team has now won medals in 16 sports – more than any country has achieved in a single Games.