The Queen has congratulated Paralympic participants from Great Britain and Northern Ireland and across the Commonwealth.
“I warmly congratulate the Paralympic athletes from Great Britain and Northern Ireland, but also the athletes from all Commonwealth countries, on their enormous successes at the Games in Tokyo.
“The dedication, dedication and adaptability that you and your support teams have shown during the extraordinary circumstances of the past 18 months have been inspiring. Your appearances have lifted the nation and your triumphs have been celebrated by all of us.
“I send my very best wishes to everyone who has contributed to the success of these memorable games.”
Great Britain took second place in the medal table of the Paralympics in Tokyo with 124 overall victories.
The number – second only to China – comprised 41 gold, 38 silver and 45 bronze, with GB winning titles in 18 of the 19 submitted sports.
Here the PA news agency distributes the final grades when the bells ring for the games.
After six medals in Rio, the British archers fell from the top of the medal table to fourth place. Game debutante Phoebe Paterson Pine saved the day. The 23-year-old won the women’s singles final, defeating British defending champion Jess Stretton on the way. There was bronze for Victoria Rumary too, but opening ceremony standard-bearer John Stubbs – Britain’s oldest squad member at 56 – couldn’t crown that honor on the field.
Double gold for wheelchair user Hannah Cockroft led Britain’s athletics campaign, while Jonnie Peacock’s shared bronze in an exciting T64 100m final – which included a four-man photo finish – was arguably the standout moment. GB dropped from third to fifth in the 2016 medal table, with nine gold medals and a total of 24. Thomas Young’s stunned reaction when he stormed T38 100m gold on his debut at the Games was unforgettable too, but overall there may have been more expectations.
GB brought home two medals from a sport that was newly added to the Paralympic program. Badminton bronze for Krysten Coombs in the SH6 class brought the curtain to the British Games. That came a day after teammate Daniel Bethell had written a little piece of badminton history and won silver after losing in the SL3 final against Indian Pramod Bhagat. The British team took eighth place overall in the racket sport. Coombs said he hoped his performance would “inspire other dwarfed children”.
The newly crowned “Cristiano Ronaldo von Boccia”, David Smith, surpassed his idol Nigel Murray as the most successful player in his country. Smith – with a distinctive red and blue Mohawk – won the BC1 individual title for the second time in a row after an exciting comeback victory in the final. His sweeping triumph, which he believed was aided by the supernatural presence of his late grandfather Charlie, reportedly drew a UK television audience of around one million. It was also Britain’s only petanque medal.
Canoe print: A
Tears and rain flowed on the Sea Forest Waterway for two consecutive days. GB was the dominant force in the sport with a total of seven medals. Emotional Emma Wiggs won gold at the first VL2 Va’a event, with Charlotte Henshaw and Emma Sugar also triumphing after switching sports since Rio 2016. A farewell bronze for Robert Oliver, who is back to work as an aerospace engineer, was another highlight moment after his right leg was amputated after a terrible amateur football duel.
Dame Sarah Storey led the way when Britain dominated on two wheels again – topping the table with a remarkable 24 medals. Storey became her country’s most successful Paralympian with 17 gold medals after winning three of the team’s eleven titles. Rapid fire track gold for the visually impaired couple Neil and Lora Fachie and a sensational team sprint triumph for Kadeena Cox, Jaco Van Gass and Jody Cundy were other major highlights.
GB maintained its record as the equestrian leader by topping the table for the seventh year in a row. Sir Lee Pearson traveled to Tokyo with the inexperienced domestic horse Breezer and then galloped to three titles to earn 14 gold medals in his career. Natasha Baker and Sophie Wells, who won the team event together with Pearson, also contributed three individual silver medals, while game debutante Georgia Wilson – a late substitute for Sophie Christiansen – entered with two bronzes.
Judo: B +
The UK failed to win a judo medal in Brazil but made up for it on the occasion with a stunning first gold since 1996. Chris Skelley claimed so. About 11 years after the devastating deterioration in his eyesight, he cried uncontrollably at Nippon Budokan. The former apprentice mechanic and passionate rugby player – whose former coach Jeff Brady died less than three weeks before the start of the games – later received a congratulatory message from hero Jonny Wilkinson. His triumph in the B2-100kg final was followed by B3-90kg silver for the game debutant Elliot Stewart, who was born in 1988, and in the same year his father Dennis won Olympic judo bronze in Seoul.
Powerlifting: C +
A sport that may lack the glamor of others and that often goes under the radar brought GB a trio of bronzes. Olivia Broome, Louise Sugden and Afghanistan veteran Micky Yule each excelled at the Tokyo International Forum. Rio silver medalist Ali Jawad missed the podium but delivered an inspiring story after facing adversity only to be in Japan after his body was devastated by Crohn’s disease.
There were three events and two gold medals won. Britain’s little rowers emulated their peak performances from five years ago on a glorious morning on the fifth day of the Games. Laurence Whiteley made his 30th birthday an unforgettable experience by defending the PR2 title in mixed doubles alongside Lauren Rowles. This was quickly followed by success for the mixed PR3 quartet with helmsman Ellen Buttrick, Giedre Rakauskaite, James Fox and Ollie Stanhope as well as helmsman Erin Kennedy.
The only sport with British participation that did not produce a medal. GB’s shooters – this time a team of seven – have now played two games in a row without the podium, having previously won silver and two bronze medals in London in 2012. Matt Skelhon was responsible for two of these medals on home soil nine years ago. He and his partner Issy Bailey could not qualify in each of their events through qualifying. Tim Jeffrey and Ryan Cockbill were the only two to make it to the finals, with the former doing so in each of his three disciplines.
Swimming: C +
With so many events in the pool, winning a medal was inevitable. Great Britain won a total of 26, including eight gold medals, but lagged behind the rival countries and finished seventh overall – and 19 behind Rio. Game debutants Maisie Summers-Newton and Reece Dunn were the greatest success stories, each taking two gold medals. The action at the Tokyo Aquatics Center also marked the end of an era in which the two Ellies – Simmonds and Robinson – were each close to Paralympic retirement, while Alice Tai was out due to injury.
There was no benchmark for Britain when Korean martial arts made its Paralympic debut. Of the three fighters on display, two finished on the podium. In her only second international competition, Beth Munro was left “on cloud nine” after an excellent silver in the K44-58kg class – and thus secured GB’s historic first Paralympic Taekwondo honor. World champion Amy Truesdale added herself to the medal table, but had to be content with bronze in the K44 + 58kg class after her gold fight ended with a semi-final defeat against eventual champion Guljonoy Naimova.
Table tennis: B.
Great Britain’s table tennis players have won many medals, although none of them gold. There were a total of seven, including a pair of silver – singles and doubles – for the star name Will Bayley, who fought back from a serious knee injury sustained during Strictly Come Dancing in Japan and is reigning class seven champion became. The Welshman Paul Karabardak finally reached the podium – in his fourth Paralympic appearance – and took bronze in class six and then second place next to Bayley.
Redemption for Lauren Steadman was the headline for British triathletes. On day five, GB secured a glittering full set of medals, with former Strictly Star Steadman upgrading the PT4 silver she won in Rio five years ago to PTS5 gold. Claire Cashmore completed the podium in this race, while George Peasgood previously won silver in the men’s. Steadman was the favorite for gold in Brazil five years ago but suffered great disappointments after making a mistake in the swimming area. The team’s grand total was one silver less than their 2016 exploits.
Wheelchair basketball: B-
GB’s wait for basketball gold continues. The men’s team, hampered by head coach Haj Bhania’s absence after testing positive for Covid-19 before leaving, seemed to end that record at some point, but eventually took bronze for the second straight games. GB’s victory over Spain on the final matchday, coached by Gaz Choudhry, followed the heartbreak of a semi-final in which they were outclassed by hosts Japan. For the women it was a game to be forgotten. They have never won a medal in the sport and finished seventh out of 10 teams.
Wheelchair fences: B +
In a sport dominated by China, Britain made huge strides. Piers Gilliver’s sword silver in Rio five years ago was his country’s only medal in the previous six games. This time the team returned home when they were five. Gilliver was a number higher as he improved to gold from second place on the podium from five years ago. He also combined with Dimitri Coutya and Oliver Lam-Watson to take silver in the Florett team and bronze in the Degen team. Another two third places for Coutya – in sword and foil – were added to the total.
Wheelchair rugby: A +
Britain stormed to a historic first medal in mixed-sex sport by taking gold. In an exciting final, the European champions defeated the three-time winner USA 54:49. Great Britain had previously lost the bronze medal play-offs in the 1996, 2004 and 2008 games. Victory in what was dubbed “Murderball” from a 2005 movie was Britain’s first ever Paralympic gold in a team sport. The feat caught the imagination of many at home and will be a lasting memory of the games.
Wheelchair tennis: B +
GB won four medals in the Ariake Tennis Park, but was in fifth place in the table for lack of gold. Devastation was carved into the faces of Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett after losing the double-finals to French duo Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer for the second consecutive year. It is unlikely that Hewett will return to the Paralympics due to new classification criteria. The following day, the deposed single champion Reid won single bronze by defeating his teammate. Bronze for
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