Updated: Monday, 30th March 2020 @ 1:49pm

Manchester phenomenon Sarah Storey hails solitary training for spurring her to record Paralympic gold

Manchester phenomenon Sarah Storey hails solitary training for spurring her to record Paralympic gold

By Dean Wilkins

Solitary training is the key to her sporting success, claims Manchester heroine Sarah Storey after claiming a record 11th Paralympic gold medal yesterday.

The 34-year-old cyclist, and former swimming champion, joined Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson in the history books as Great Britain’s most successful Paralympian of all time.

Storey, born with a partly formed left hand, claimed her fourth gold of the London 2012 Games in devastating fashion – winning the women’s C4-5 road race by seven minutes.

"I really do love what I do, I love training really hard,” Storey said. “I'm a bit of a sadist really.

"My teammates call me a bit of a motorbike. I quite like training on my own. I always have done.

"I guess following the black line and the swimming pool has given me that.

"I'm just having so much fun and I hope that can continue until someone takes the reins and makes it faster."

And with the chance to surpass the country’s greatest-ever women’s Paralympian still an option, Storey is eyeing up a few more years on the road before planning for Rio 2016 Games.

"Hopefully that's shown people what real athletes we are at the Parallel Olympics," she added.

"I'm just so proud to have been a part of it for so long and hopefully proud enough to go on and do it for some more years as well."

Storey won her first Paralympic gold medal aged just 14 at Barcelona 1992 – swimming her way to the top of the podium.

But following a series of ear infections, she was forced to swap the pool for pedals and soon became a threat on the track.

In London she stormed to wins in the 500metre time-trial, 3km individual pursuit and the road time-trial – and Storey could not hide her pride at competing in her sixth Games.

"It's just amazing," added Storey.

"This has been the greatest Games for me. I won two gold medals in Barcelona, three in Atlanta, two in Beijing. I've won four here – I can't get over it.

"I wanted to win every race and the outcome of that has been four gold medals.

"To equal Tanni's a huge honour. Her career was absolutely immense.

"She's an absolutely incredible girl and I can't wait to give her a big hug."

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