Cyclist Sugiura, 50, becomes Japan’s oldest gold medalist
Keiko Sugiura won the women’s C1-3 road cycling time trial at the Tokyo Paralympics on Tuesday, becoming Japan’s oldest-ever gold medalist at the age of 50.
Sugiura clocked 25 minutes, 55.76 seconds at Fuji International Speedway to triumph and rewrite the age record previously held by Takio Ushikubo, who was 46 when he won judo’s 71-kilogram division at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
She also became the first female Japanese cyclist to win gold at the Paralympics and the fourth overall.
Anna Beck of Sweden won silver in 26:18.03, and Paige Greco of Australia bronze in 26:37.54.
Sugiura has paralysis on the right side of her body and memory impairment suffered after a fall in a cycling race when she was 45 years old.
The Shizuoka Prefecture native continued cycling as part of her rehabilitation won road time trial gold at the 2017 world championships and won silver both in the road time trial and road race at the 2019 world championships.
Sugiura will bid for her second Paralympic gold in the road race on Friday.
In other events, visually impaired athlete Shinya Wada of Japan won the Paralympic silver medal Tuesday in the men’s T11 1,500 meters at the National Stadium.
The 44-year-old Wada, who bagged the bronze medal in the men’s T11 5,000-meter event earlier in the games, won 1,500m silver in 4 minutes, 5.27 seconds. Yeltsin Jacques of Brazil won gold in a world record time of 3:57.60.
The Osaka Prefecture native was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa while he was in high school and lost his vision completely when he was a university student.
Japan’s Kenya Karasawa, who won silver in the men’s T11 5,000-meter event in his Paralympic debut in Tokyo, crossed fourth.