Dame Sarah Storey seeks history in Tokyo after being selected for Paralympics

Fourteen-time Paralympic gold medallist Dame Sarah Storey will bid to make history in Tokyo after being selected to spearhead Great Britain’s cycling team.

Storey has qualified for her eighth Games and will seek to defend her titles in the C5 individual pursuit, C5 time trial and C4-5 road race.

Victory in each event would see the 43-year-old surpass former swimmer Mike Kenny – who has 16 gold medals – as Britain’s most successful Paralympian.

A further four reigning champions have been named in the squad; Jody Cundy, Kadeena Cox, Steve Bate and Lora Fachie, in addition to returning Paralympians Crystal Lane-Wright, Neil Fachie, Aileen McGlynn and James Ball.

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George Peasgood, who is also competing in triathlon, and Games debutants Jaco Van Gass, Sophie Unwin, Fin Graham and Ben Watson complete the line-up.

Storey, who has won a total of 25 medals across a Paralympic career which began in swimming in 1992, said in a statement: “It’s a huge honour to receive selection for my eighth Paralympic Games.

“If I could go back and tell 14-year-old Sarah she’d get to do eight Paralympic Games I don’t know whether I would have believed it.

“Competing for my country is all I have ever wanted to do since being six years old and watching the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

Mike Kenny is Britain's most successful Paralympian with 16 gold medals, won between 1976 and 1988
Mike Kenny is Britain’s most successful Paralympian with 16 gold medals, won between 1976 and 1988 (Mike Stephens/PA)

“Back then I had no idea the Paralympics existed, so I’m hugely proud to have contributed to such a significant era in Paralympic sport and am incredibly excited to attempt to defend the three gold medals I won in Rio.”

Britain has topped the cycling medal table for the past three Games, winning 17, eight and 12 golds respectively in Beijing, London and Rio.

C4 rider Cundy, who is preparing for his seventh Games having already won seven golds in swimming and cycling, will attempt to defend his C4-5 kilo title and has also been named in the mixed team sprint squad alongside Cox and Van Gass.

Cox will look to retain gold in the C4-5 500m time trial, while South Africa-born newcomer Van Gass goes in a further four events; the C1-3 kilo, C3 individual pursuit, C3 time trial and C1-3 road race.

Great Britain’s Jody Cundy is seeking further Paralympic glory
Great Britain’s Jody Cundy is seeking further Paralympic glory (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Reigning Paralympic champion Bate and his pilot Adam Duggleby will once again be in action in the individual pursuit and time trial, as well as attempting to better their bronze medal from Rio in the road race.

Lora Fachie – the other squad member to have been victorious in Brazil five years ago – will contest her third Games alongside pilot Corrine Hall, seeking further glory in the individual pursuit, in addition to competing in the kilo, time trial and road race.

Fellow visually-impaired riders McGlynn, Unwin, Ball, and Neil Fachie will be piloted by Helen Scott, Jenny Holl, Lewis Stewart and Matt Rotherham respectively.

British Cycling’s performance director Stephen Park said: “This is a really exciting team, and I am confident we will have another successful Paralympic Games.

“We have plenty of medal prospects in every event we are targeting, as we aim to top para-cycling’s medal table once again for this Paralympic cycle.”