ParalympicsGB 'rewrote the history books' in Tokyo

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Krysten Coombs' bronze badminton medal was Great Britain's final and 124th medal from Tokyo

ParalympicsGB chief Penny Briscoe says that Great Britain's team has "rewritten history" in Tokyo with their performance.

GB finished second behind China with 124 medals and 41 golds.

These statistics are not as impressive as those from Rio five years back, but Britain won medals for 18 of the 19 sports it entered, setting a new team record.

Briscoe stated, "It's been an amazing Games for ParalympicsGB."

"We are absolutely thrilled with the team's performance."

Chef de mission Briscoe believes that the return of Russian athletes, competing under the flags of their Paralympic Committee in 2016, makes it impossible to replicate Rio's medal totals.

After winning 34 and 120 medals respectively in London 2012, Britain won 64 golds and overall 147 medals in Rio.

BBC Radio 5 Live she stated that "the medal total was always going be difficult in terms the return of Russian athletes. The team made a tremendous effort to win medals in 18 of 19 sports.

"We have rewritten history out here in Tokyo."

In six months, the Winter Paralympics will begin in Beijing. The next edition of the summer Games is in Paris three years later.

Briscoe said that the Tokyo campaign was a "major undertaking". It was complex, challenging and extremely demanding. "Not only during the 12 days of competition, but also in the 18 months preceding the Games."

Paralympic movement "stronger than ever"

Andrew Parsons, president of International Paralympic Committee (IPC), said that the Games were held amid a global pandemic.

Like the Olympics, the Games were held behind closed doors. The Covid-19 cases in Japan exceeded 25,000 per day the first four days before they began.

He said, "I think these Games are just sensational."

"The sport was amazing, world records were broken for every sport. The performances were amazing. It is amazing to think that these athletes prepared for the Games in the face of a pandemic and with restrictions.

"It's proof of the strength of the Paralympic movement than ever before."

Parsons hopes that all sports will be shown live by 2024

Due to financial constraints, there was no live TV coverage of powerlifting, wheelchair fencing and Para-taekwondo during the Tokyo Games.

Parsons stated that he hopes to have live coverage at Paris 2024 of all sports.

He said that Rio had 13 live events, and Tokyo has 19 live sports.

"Officially, we'd love to see the 22 sports live on TV. But at the end it's a matter both of resources and broadcasting rights.

"I was disappointed not to be able to watch these sports live, but on the other side, we made great progress going from 13 in Rio down to 19 here in Tokyo."

After seeing the reaction to karate and baseball at the Tokyo Olympics, Parsons said that the IPC would take a "more targeted approach" to adding new sports to its Paralympic program.

Although Tokyo is the sport selection for Paris 2024, wheelchair basketball is still awaiting confirmation. This is due to changes in its classification rules which have been requested by IPC.

Los Angeles 2028 is the deadline for any significant changes to Paralympics programming.

Parsons stated, "We will be more proactive when selecting sports that we believe will appeal or that the host country might find interesting."

Headline Storey launches a new chapter

Sarah Storey competed in the Paralympics in Barcelona 1992.

Sarah Storey won three golds for Britain, winning the individual pursuit, time trial, and road race to win her 15th, 16th, and 17th Paralympic titles. This was after a career that spans eight Games and two sports.

Storey now surpasses swimmer Mike Kenny to be the most successful British Paralympian ever.

The 43-year old intends to compete at Paris 2024 again in order to give her 3-year-old son Charlie an opportunity to see the Paralympics in person. However, other British legends won't be returning next time.

Ellie Simmonds, five-time Paralympic champion swimmer, and Libby Clegg (who did the T11 Sprint double in Rio) have both said that Tokyo is the end of their Paralympic careers.

Reece Dunn was Britain's most successful Olympian at the Games. He won five medals and three golds.