Great Britain’s cycling team has taken the first steps to repeating its’ dominant Rio 2016 Paralympics performance by winning five medals on the opening day (22 March) of the Rio 2018 Para Cycling Track Worlds.
The event is taking place at the Rio Olympic Park Velodrome, home of track cycling at Rio 2016, and goes until Sunday (25 March).
A traditional powerhouse in cycling, Great Britain saw two athletes reach the top of the podium on day one. Katie Toft won gold in the women's individual pursuit 3000m C1, while her compatriot Jody Cundy follow suit and was crowned men's C4 time trial 1km world champion.
"I have been really pleasantly surprised with the competition here. So many volunteers and so helpful make it feels like a proper major competition. To come here and ride as well as I did today feels very good. I need to thank my coaching team, my family, girlfriend... It's been a fantastic experience and it's just the first day", said Jody Cundy, a two-time gold medallist at Rio 2016.
Great Britain also saw good performances in the men's C5 Time Trial 1km, with Jon Butterworth claiming the silver medal and Blaine Hunt taking bronze. Megan Giglia won the fifth British medal of the day when she crossed the finish line to take silver in the women's C3 3km individual pursuit.
Competition continues on Friday (23 March) with the tandem qualification. In the men's individual 4km, Spaniards Ignacio Avila Rodriguez and Joan Font Bertoli will duel with two British pairs; James Ball and Peter Mitchell and Stephen Bate and Adam Duggbley. Brazil will be represented by Marcos Novello and Marcelo Andrade. In the women's individual pursuit 3km, Lora Fachie/Corrine Hall and Sophie Thornhill/Helen Scott are the favourites.
The programme will also feature women's time trial 500m finals in the C1, C2 and C3 classes as well as the men's C1 1000m final.
Tandem finals, women's C2 and C3 time trials and 10km Scratch (C1, C2 and C3) finals will take place in the afternoon.
The 2018 Track Worlds include 171 athletes (50 women and 121 men) from 30 countries competing across four days of competition. The competition is the first one that athletes can collect ranking points towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Full results from Rio can be found here.