Stephen Bate gearing up for revenge after settling for cycling silver in Tokyo

·4-min read
Bate and Duggleby claimed Paralympic  4,000m tandem pursuit silver on the opening day of Paralympic action
Bate and Duggleby claimed 4,000m tandem pursuit silver on the opening day of Paralympic action in Tokyo (Picture: Imagecomms)

From James Toney in Tokyo

Stephen Bate admitted he took a kicking in the defence of his Paralympic time trial title - but he's already focusing on a revenge mission.

Bate and pilot Adam Duggleby went quicker than ever before in the 4,000m tandem pursuit but still saw their colours lowered by Flying Dutchmen Tristan Bangma and Patrick Bos.

The Scot will now look to next week's time trial road event, in which he is both the Paralympic and world champion.

And it's fair to say the tandem duo are smarting, Duggleby admitting an issue with pacing in their qualifying race cost them dearly in the final.

"That's what you call a classic kicking, we did what we could but it wasn't enough, their performance was phenomenal and sometimes you need to settle for second," said Bate.

"Emotionally it's disappointing but logically we need to be realistic. We gave everything we had, it just wasn't good enough. 

"I'm just pleased to be standing here with a medal because it could have gone a lot worse. It's never nice losing but when you get a canning from a bike like that you can still be proud. It's a medal, just not quite the right colour.

"We can reset for the time trial now, it's a brutal course, especially in this heat, but we know it will suit us."

Neil Fachie and pilot Matthew Rotherham always knew this event was about preparation for Saturday's blink-and-you'll-miss-it 1000m time trial.

They are the defending world champions in that event while Fachie, the gold medallist from London 2012, still fumes about his silver in Rio.

"I'd be surprised if our event isn't won in a world record time, that's what we are anticipating and what we're aiming for," said Aberdeen's Fachie, 37, who made his Paralympic debut in Beijing in athletics before switching to cycling.

"A lot of good preparation has gone into the Games and this was really just a chance to run through it in a race environment. We had a couple of technical issues that we'll have to correct for Saturday but we're in a great place and I can't wait to get going on our main event.

"We came in here with the kilo in mind and we probably didn't attack it as hard as we could, as a racer you want to give your all but we didn't want to destroy ourselves here and cost ourselves on Saturday.

"The holding camp was a dream and everything went to plan, since we've been here we've found some extra speed and got quicker and quicker.

"I've never been in better shape, we've done everything right and it's just a waiting game - it's frustrating because we want to show the world what we are capable of. We feed off the big game and that's coming on Saturday."

ParalympicsGB's women's wheelchair basketball squad fell to Canada on Wednesday (Picture: Imagecomms)
ParalympicsGB's women's wheelchair basketball squad fell to Canada on Wednesday (Picture: Imagecomms)

Scots Robyn Love and Jude Hamer suffered a 73-54 defeat to Canada in the opening game of the women's wheelchair basketball tournament.

The world silver medallists bossed the early stages, leading 29-26 at half-time, but a strong Canadian comeback left the British team reeling in their first international game for 18 months.

Maddie Thompson led ParalympicsGB scoring with 11 points and talisman Helen Freeman contributed seven assists.

“We were so nervous because it’s been so long since we last played, but it was just nice to be out there and there’s lots we can take from it," said team-mate Charlotte Moore, whose ParalympicsGB journey is supported by Sainsbury's.

“We need to stay more composed as a team in moments like the third quarter. We were still creating chances, we didn’t need to try to rush back into the game.

“Any time you’re going into a tournament without having played other nations, it’s tricky. Luckily we have time, we’ve not gone out today, and have the chance to build on this.”

Elsewhere, Scot Gordon Reid will begin the defence of his Paralympic wheelchair tennis title later this week, despite a member of the British team's support staff testing positive for Covid.

The unnamed official is now quarantining in a government facility in Tokyo but an investigation by Tokyo 2020 and the British Paralympic Association concluded none of the players required to isolate as close contacts.

“The health and welfare of all ParalympicsGB athletes and staff remains our number one priority and we are working hard to ensure all those involved receive the support they need," said team chef de mission Penny Briscoe.

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