Mark Colbourne Breaks World Record and Qualifies for C1 Individual Pursuit Final!
Mark Colbourne has broken the C1 3k Individual Pursuit world record with a blistering time of 3.53.970 and will battle for gold with Zhang Yu Li of China in the final this evening!
Mark had a good clean start to the race and remained composed as he applied the pressure to Argentinian Rodrigo Fernando Lopez, gradually building his speed to lap Lopez at 1000m to go.
The current World Champion punched the air in delight as he crossed the finish line to a rapturous welcome from the crowd, and he’s looking stronger and more determined than ever to achieve his dream of Paralympic gold.
Speaking after the race, Mark said: “It was good, obviously this event suits my physiology I suppose, you know, the longer events.”
“Yesterday I was very proud to be the first medallist for Paralympic GB. However, this event is certainly more my bag really, so I’m looking forward to the final later on”
When asked whether he was surprised to break the world record by seven seconds, Mark explained: “No, not really. The schedule we had was just under four minutes and I think the crowd certainly helped me on. So a big thanks to the crowd.”
Mark Colbourne wins Great Britain’s first Paralympic medal as he takes Silver in the 1Km Time Trial on Day 1 of London Paralympic Games!
Mark Colbourne has achieved what would have been thought impossible three years ago after breaking his back in a paragliding accident; winning a silver medal in the 1km Time Trial, setting a new personal best time and gaining Great Britain’s first medal of the London 2012 Paralympic Games!
Mark was the penultimate rider to take to the boards for the C1-C3 1km time trial, and despite the pressure of it being his first Paralympic event he looked every inch the focussed, determined athlete ready to give it his all. He looked the epitome of calm as he took to the starting block and didn’t disappoint the crowd as he rode a very fast kilometre, finishing with a factored time of 1.08.471 in second place. Li Zhang Yu of China won gold with a C1 world record of 1.05.021.
Despite knowing he was guaranteed a place on the podium, he still had the nerve-wracking wait for final rider Rodrigo Fernandez Lopez from Argentina to race before he’d know whether he had won a silver or a bronze Paralympic medal on home soil.
Lopez started well but finished with a time of 1.10.689 seconds, confirming Mark’s hopes of securing his first ever Paralympic silver medal in front of a home crowd. His elation didn’t stop there, as shortly after finishing he was told he’d not only beaten his personal best time for the kilometre, but he had also won Great Britain’s first Paralympic medal of the games so far!
Speaking after his silver-medal win, Mark recalls how he felt after his paragliding accident in 2009, “I didn’t even know if I would ever walk again due to the damage that had been caused to my spine. It was a very slow and worrying time for me and my family”
“We have worked for the last eight months towards this and big thanks to all the coaches who got me in the best shape possible. I’m very happy”
The silver medal has certainly given him the belief that he can go for gold in C1 3k Pursuit tomorrow.
Mark Colbourne and I have produced a video featuring the Para-cycling team.
As myself, Mark and the rest of the Para-cycling team are unable to attend the Opening Ceremony tonight due to the cycling events starting tomorrow, we wanted to share a little video with you to say “Hello!”
We shot, directed and edited the “Hello!” video as a thank you for the overwhelming support we’ve received from the British public, and it was a fantastic opportunity for the whole team to get together and capture some moments from our time in the holding camp and athletes village.
Making the video was fun; we wanted to get together as a team and show we have personalities outside our day job, but also show some of our preparations in Newport. In doing so we hopefully put a smile on people’s faces…. Enjoy!
Mark Colbourne’s Paralympics Schedule (Cycling, Track and Road):
30/08/12 – C1-3 1km Time Trial Final 31/08/12 – C1 4km Pursuit Qualification in the morning and Final in the afternoon if qualified 05/09/12 – C1 Road Time Trial 06/09/12 – C1–3 Road Race
Ahead of his first competition at a Paralympic Games, Mark said “It has been a tough journey from breaking my back to becoming a Paralympian and I’ve been training really hard to reach this point . Competing at a home Paralympic Games is the pinnacle of every athlete’s career and I am over the moon to be here”
And although London will be his first Paralympics, Mark is confident about his current form “I’m aiming for two gold medals at least!”
Mark is set to race in the C1 1km Time Trial on Thursday afternoon, and is sure that the public will be backing ParalympicsGB all the way. “The British Paralympic team has been hugely successful winning 42 gold medals in Beijing, second on the medal table, but with the support of the whole of Britain, we’ll aim to beat that. I can’t wait to see the British public support the British Paralympic team as much as they have got behind the Olympic team. It’s going to be truly special.”