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The set is complete for Hannah Cockroft whose legacy in wheelchair racing will likely never be topped.
The Paralympic, world and European champion, who is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support, added Commonwealth gold to her incomparable collection to close out the opening night of action in the athletics at Birmingham 2022.
And in a career that has seen her win everything there is to win, the long-term impact of this win, part of an English clean sweep along with Kare Adenegan and Fabienne Andre, may end up being second only to London 2012.
She said: “I can't believe that I've gone out and I've done it. Every time there's a new person to watch. I genuinely think I had one of the hardest races here tonight. I had the silver, bronze and fourth place from Tokyo and the silver medallist from London 2012 so I had a pretty stacked line up to be fair. To do a sub-17 on that track, it does show the power of a crowd. They roared all three of us English girls home. They made us incredibly proud to represent our country.
“To sit all three of us up there, it shows that Britain are doing something right. We're still pushing paralympic sport. We're still making the most of it and we're still getting great girls coming through. I know I'm old. I've been around for ten years now. But it just shows that we're not getting any slower and the event's progressing all the time. Hopefully there were some kids sat at home, I know it's late, and they're going to come and challenge us in four years' time and they're going to be the new champions.”
Cockroft beamed as she entered the track and even Adenegan, the only athlete to have ever beaten her, had no answer as she raced home in 16.84, nearly a second clear of the field.
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