ParaGB’s Mark Colbourne breaks world record twice in same day as he cruises to gold

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After China’s Li Zhang Yu beat him in Thursday’s 1km time trial, Mark Colbourne’s gold medal victory was even sweeter when he surpassed his rival in the C1 3km individual pursuit on Day Two of the Paralympic Games.

The 42-year-old, who took up cycling after breaking his back in a paragliding accident in May 2009, was behind gold-medal rival Li by more than 1.1 seconds after the first kilometre of the 3km course.

But he always had the race under control, smoothly accelerating as Li faded and slipped back into his clutches.

Colbourne was racing the clock rather than the Chinaman in the latter stages and, spurred on by a roaring crowd, he pushed the world mark of 3:53.970 that he had set in qualifying even lower.

“I think at the moment I’m completely euphoric,” he said. “We’ve been training for two years and preparing for this final push for the last four months. They told me to keep working hard and your dream will become a reality and I’m here today.”

The gold is Great Britain’s third of the Paralympics after fellow cyclist Sarah Storey and swimmer Jonathan Fox’s victories.

Welshman Colbourne, who previously represented his country at volleyball, will turn his attention to Brands Hatch, where he competes in both the road race and the time trial.

He will be joined by team-mate and silver medal winner John-Allan Butterworth, an Iraq veteran who lost his left arm in a rocket attack on Basra Air Base in August 2007.

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