Hannah Cockroft winning the gold medal and Kare Adenegan claiming bronze in the T34 800m means ParalympicsGB have secured their 121st medal of an outstanding Rio 2016 Paralympic games ensuring they beat the incredible medal haul at London 2012.
UK Sport’s medal target agreed with sports to improve on the London 2012 total has been achieved and the focus now switches to setting a new benchmark for medal success with two days of competition still to come.
In recognition of the ever more competitive environment in Paralympic sport, UK Sport strategically invested a record £73million of National Lottery and Exchequer income for Rio 2016 an increase of almost 45 per cent when compared to London 2012.
With planning for the Tokyo 2020 games well underway and funding for sports to be confirmed in December this year, UK Sport has also launched #DiscoverYour Gold, a multi-sport talent identification and recruitment campaign to fast-track people into a number of Paralympic sports.
Members of the public inspired by the success are urged to register at uksport.gov.uk/talent to discover if they have what it takes to medal in Tokyo.
Rod Carr, Chair of UK Sport, said: “This truly inspirational group of Paralympic athletes have picked up the baton from their Olympic counterparts and continued the outstanding success at Rio 2016.”
“The nation has once again been gripped by our Paralympians and their incredible stories of endeavour, courage, indomitable human spirit and sporting prowess.
“The Rio 2016 Paralympics Games has featured so many inspirational moments from Dame Sarah Storey becoming the most successful British female Paralympian of all time to the emergence of new stars such as Kadeena Cox and David Henson both identified through UK Sport’s talent recruitment campaigns.
“This historic success would not have been possible without sustained, consistent Government commitment and National Lottery funding – so the great British public should feel proud of what they have helped achieve.”
Paralympic success follows an incredible Rio 2016 Olympic games where Great Britain and Northern Ireland become the first host nation to better their home Games medal tally, as Team GB finished second in the medal table with 67 medals in Rio compared to 65 at London 2012.
Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport, said: “Rio 2016 is further proof of the effectiveness of our high performance system across Olympic and Paralympic sport.
“The outstanding results at the ever more competitive Paralympic Games show that we have more strength in depth and breadth than ever before and our increased investment over this Rio cycle has been targeted in a way that has made a significant difference.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment of talented athletes and the expertise and dedication of our Coaches, Performance Directors and practitioners who have been there, day in day out, supporting our Paralympic athletes to enable them to peak when it really matters.
“I also want to recognise the world leading environment created for the athletes in Rio by the British Paralympic Association, led by Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe, which has undoubtedly given the team a competitive edge.
“This is success by design and would not have been possible without the consistency of National Lottery Good Cause funding which has allowed us to strategically invest in all sports and athletes with credible medal winning potential. We must therefore give special recognition to all the National Lottery players who have made this incredible Rio 2016 possible.
“The Rio Paralympics have been inspirational in so many ways, with medals being won by a mix of experienced athletes and others who have transferred across sports or have been identified within the last 4 years through talent campaigns. Anyone who thinks they might have what it takes to compete at future Paralympics can sign up for #DiscoverYour Gold today.”
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch said: "ParalympicsGB's performance in Rio has been nothing short of sensational. Our athletes’ record breaking medal haul has made the nation proud and I congratulate them and all at UK Sport and the BPA for what they have achieved. Paralympians are testament to how people can overcome adversity, succeed and become champions.
"Backed by National Lottery and government funding, ParalympicsGB has shown that our country's approach to elite sport is up there with the very best in the world. I know that the team will have a wonderful reception when they arrive back home."
Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: "We are very proud of the performance of ParalympicsGB. To surpass the medal target is incredible, this is down to the hard work and dedication of the athletes, the support team behind them throughout the cycle and the team supporting them here in Rio.
"It is not a fluke. We understand what it takes to win and that to do so takes great partnership across the system. We have worked closely with UK Sport, the Home Countries Institutes, Governing Bodies and with the fantastic support of Government and the National Lottery to ensure athletes and this team are best prepared for the games environment.
"We knew Rio 2016 would be the most competitive yet so to be able to match that with our own highly competitive performances is fantastic. We hope it will provide the inspiration in the UK and globally to inspire a better world for disabled people."
Click here for more information or to sign up for #DiscoverYour Gold.
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