DISLEY’S Sarah Storey said it was “a dream come true” to become Britain’s most decorated female Paralympian after winning her fourth gold of the London Games.
Storey, 34, entered the record books after a dominant display in the C4-5 Road Race at Brands Hatch on Thursday, to add to her golds in the Time Trial and on the track in the C4-5 500m Time Trial and C5 Pursuit.
This was an 11th career gold for the former swimmer, who switched to cycling in 2005. With eight silver medals and three bronze in a 20-year career she surpasses former wheelchair racer Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s collection of 11 golds, four silvers and one bronze.
“To be even on the same page as Tanni, to have won 11 and make it a clean sweep, is just a dream come true. I don’t know if it’ll ever sink in,” said the ex-Disley Primary School pupil.
Baroness Grey-Thompson congratulated Storey via Twitter shortly after the cyclist crossed the line.
Swimmer Mike Kenny won 16 golds and two silvers between 1976 and 1988 but records in the earlier years still remain sketchy so it is difficult to be definitive about who is the greatest of all time.
Storey attacked from the start of the 64km, eight-lap Road Race and finished seven minutes and 22 seconds clear of her nearest rival, Poland’s Anna Harkowska, covering the course at an average of 38kph.
She said: “It’s just amazing with the crowds around the course and on the finish straight every single lap. I wanted to say thank you but I had to keep my head down and make sure I made no mistakes.”
Storey caught the competitors in the men’s C1-3 event, who started their race two minutes before the women, and the men’s event had to be neutralised by officials when they tried to race alongside her.
“I’d completely forgotten about the men until I could see the back of their peloton. I just managed to hold them off,” said Storey.
Royal Mail has painted a post box gold to honour each of Storey’s medal triumphs at the 2012 Games, and these are located in Disley, Poynton, Eccles and Macclesfield. Commemorative stamps featuring the Paralympian are also on sale.
Husband Barney, 35, also struck gold at the Games, in the men’s B 1km Time Trial as the sighted tandem pilot for Neil Fachie. The pair collected their second track cycling medal with silver in the men’s B Sprint.