Paralympic Games: Neil Fachie on top of world after gold
NEIL Fachie said he’d need a world record to claim Paralympic gold and he was right, although he was denied an eagerly anticipated showdown with British team-mate Anthony Kappes.
The Aberdonian’s decision to turn his back on track and field and focus on the velodrome paid off in spectacular fashion as he and pilot Barney Storey won gold in the tandem time trial in a world record 1:01.351.
But Kappes and Craig MacLean, who partnered Chris Hoy to team sprint silver at the 2000 Olympics and gold for Scotland at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, were prevented from racing after suffering two chain failures. It meant more mixed emotions for the British cycling team, who have continued to fall foul of the officials, from Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish’s Olympic team sprint disqualification to Jody Cundy’s X-rated meltdown earlier this week.
“I’m devastated for my team-mates who didn’t get to ride and they would have pushed us hard I’m sure,” added Fachie.
“We are delighted to have got the world record and the gold medal but unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to see if our time would hold up against Anthony and Craig.
“Now I’m looking at the sprint and hopefully I’ll be up against my team-mates in that. Honestly I thought we could get the world record, but I didn’t know it would be that quick.”
Earlier this year, MacLean and Kappes won the world title in Los Angeles, but the prospect of seeing one of the Games’ most anticipated head-to-head battles was denied by track cycling’s confusing rulebook.
Officials blamed rider error, the riders blamed the start gate and no-one, least of all those in the stands, was satisfied by the explanations.
“It could have been a great spectacle, us chasing Neil and Barney’s time,” said MacLean, who will focus on today’s tandem sprint in which he and Kappes are also world champions. Fachie used to ride with MacLean, winning double gold with him at last year’s World Championships, but now competes with Storey, who is the husband of Paralympic champion Sarah, who formerly worked as pilot to double Beijing gold medallist Kappes, who now rides with MacLean.
Confusing though it is, it seems to be a winning formula.
“With a lap to go I don’t remember much about the race; we just pushed and pushed and the crowd was with us. It was fantastic,” said Storey.
“I don’t think I will be wearing the trousers at home just yet because Sarah has more races to come.”
Sure enough, Sarah made it a memorable family double yesterday by taking gold in the women’s individual C4-5 500m time trial.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North