Paralympics 2020: Silver for Scots in Tokyo as Sammi Kinghorn and Finlay Graham make it a medal double

Sammi Kinghorn won her second Paralympics medal inside 24 hours as she claimed silver in the women's T53 400m final.
Sammi Kinghorn smiles after winning silver in the Women’s 400m - T53 final at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)Sammi Kinghorn smiles after winning silver in the Women’s 400m - T53 final at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Sammi Kinghorn smiles after winning silver in the Women’s 400m - T53 final at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

The Melrose wheelchair racer backed up Thursday’s T53 100m bronze with a second place finish in a time of 57.25 seconds behind Swiss athlete Catherine Debrunner.

There’s just one colour missing from the 25-year-old’s collection and she believes she can claim it at the next Games in Paris.

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“I believe I can be Paralympic champion one day and I think it is just learning, it is getting into that mental state and getting prepared,” she said.

“My family have had a massive party all week, my dad put a marquee outside the house and I have nine or ten friends staying there. I am hoping they are going to organise a big better for when I get home.

“Cake and fizz is what I’m going for.”

There was another Scottish silver for cyclist Finlay Graham, who had no problems with torrential rain in the men's road race, claiming it just reminded him of home in Strathpeffer.

Graham was devastated after just missing out on time trial bronze at Fuji Raceway but 48 hours later added to his individual pursuit silver with a medal of the same colour.

Team-mate Ben Watson took the gold as rain of biblical proportions saw thrills and spills at the former F1 venue, with team-mate Jaco van Gass just missing out on a medal.

Graham, 21, even suffered a mechanical issue in the race but recovered to finish 80 seconds and over five minutes ahead of bronze.

"That was so wet, we woke up and saw it chucking it down and it was just like being at home," said Graham.

"The conditions were so slippery and it wasn't worth pushing hard because you could have crashed on any corner.

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"With three of us in the race we knew we could control it and the goal was just for one of us to get the win, there was no specific person we had in mind.

"Ben got away and we let the gap grow and then I just gave it a bit of a go at the end, he was far too strong to catch. We're gutted to miss the 1-2-3 but gold and silver is pretty nice.”

Libby Clegg admits she’s retiring at the right time after her Paralympic T11 200m title defence ended in the first round.

The Scottish sprinter revealed she is hanging up her spikes on the eve of the Games and will race for the last time in tonight’s 4x100m relay.

Clegg, who won two gold medals at the last Games in Rio, finished third in a 200m heat of just four runners and her time was only the 11th quickest of the morning, with the fastest eight moving through to the semi-finals.

But, considering she was not even selected for the Games initially and benefited from a late call-up, just being in Tokyo was enough for the 31-year-old.

“I am super happy with my run today, six weeks ago we going to be here so I am just happy to be honest to finish my athletics career in the Olympic Stadium,” she said.

“I have the relay tomorrow to finish and I am really looking forward to it. There are so many young athletes coming through and I am ready now, ready for the end in a nice way. I am happy.

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“I did not get selected so I am here on default because someone else pulled out, so we’re lucky to be here and it has been such an honour to be on a successful team.

“This is a year too late, this Games. I would have preferred it last year, I was ready last year to run and then retire. And I was in phenomenal shape last year.

“It has been a very tough 18 months, not just for me but for lots of other athletes and it has been difficult mentally to stay motivated. I love an international race and they were all cancelled, so to pick yourself back up after that is hard.”

Clegg is unsure what will come next but her sporting career might not be over.

“I have no idea, I might have a dabble in track cycling after this but I would like to still be involved on the team in some way in athletics but not competing because my body is falling to bits,” she added.

“I have been away from my son [Edward] for coming up to three-and-half weeks now and I am really missing him, I just want a cuddle.”

Swimmer Toni Shaw rounded off her Tokyo campaign with fourth place in the 100m butterfly S9.

The Aberdeen ace finished fourth for the second time at the Games, touching the wall in a time of 1:08.87 and missing a medal by 0.44 seconds.

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"I was really happy with my time, I haven't done too much butterfly training and I surprised myself," she said.

"I'm really disappointed to finish fourth, nobody likes to come fourth but I'm pleased with how I swum."

Glasgow's Louis Lawlor finished eighth in the 100m backstroke S14, also concluding his Paralympic debut.

Meanwhile, Glasgow’s Gordon Reid and wheelchair tennis doubles partner Alfie Hewett will hope to get revenge in Friday's gold medal match.

The pair face France’s Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer, who beat them to the title in Rio five years ago.

Reid bowed out of the singles semi-finals to Japan’s Shingo Kunieda yesterday, going down 6-3 6-2.

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