Storey launches gold bid with WR
Sarah Storey set a world record in qualification for the women's C5 individual pursuit as Great Britain's cyclists made a blistering start to competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
In front of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Storey clocked three minutes 32.170 seconds to advance to the gold medal ride-off of the three-kilometre event, with compatriot Crystal Lane progressing to the race for bronze by qualifying fourth in 3mins 59.220secs.
Storey has won seven Paralympic titles since making her debut in Barcelona as a swimmer in 1992 and is aiming to add to her collection in London.
The 35-year-old, who was in contention for Britain's Olympic team pursuit squad until last December, was more than 16 seconds quicker than nearest rival, Anna Harkowska of Poland (3:48.885), who she will meet in the final.
"I know we heard our colleagues say this during the Olympics but it's so hard to explain the energy they give you. I just can't explain it really," Storey told Channel 4. "On the last lap I could hear I was on for the record. This is everything. I've been working on this in training so hard. I'm so chuffed."
Lane is set to ride off against Fiona Southorn of New Zealand (3:52.695) in the race for the third place, little more than three weeks after learning she would compete in the Paralympics and four years after Storey's performance in China captured her attention.
Speaking before her place in the medal rounds was assured, the 26-year-old, who was awarded a late place in the Games, said: "I was really pleased that I got a personal best. That's all I could ask for."
Ireland's James Brown and Damien Shaw clocked 4:25.557 in qualifying for the bronze medal ride-off in the men's blind and visually impaired 4km tandem pursuit.
Brown and Shaw are set to meet Spain's Miguel Angel Clemente and Diego Munoz in the race for third.
There is set to be an all-Australian final, with Kieran Modra and Scott McPhee to meet Bryce Lindores and Sean Finning.