YORKSHIRE’S Karen Darke narrowly missed out on a bronze at the London 2012 Paralympic Games after crossing the finishing line of the women’s H1-2 road race holding hands with fellow athlete Rachel Morris.
The pair wanted to share the position but Morris was placed third in a photo finish at Brands Hatch after her handcycle wheel crossed the line first at the end of the 48-kilometre race. Her Halifax-born colleague won time-trial silver on Wednesday.
Morris said: “We have worked so hard together these last two years we couldn’t bear the thought of crossing the line ahead of each other so we grabbed our hands together 50 metres out and went through the line together.”
Officials denied the opportunity for the pair to share Britain’s 21st cycling medal of the games and Morris collected bronze alone.
The 33-year-old from Surrey was injured and had her bike written off in an accident with a car in July which left her place in London in doubt.
She added: “This bronze medal means more than gold. It just means everything.”
Darke, 41, said: “I’m delighted for Rachel. She so deserves it. I had a medal the other day so we both have something to celebrate.”
Leeds swimmer Claire Cashmore, 24, collected her third medal of the games last night, a silver in the women’s 4 x 100m medley relay. She said: “To be so close is tough but we couldn’t have given anything more.”
Taking Britain’s 32nd gold of the games yesterday was Bristol athlete Josie Pearson, 26, who won the discus event in an ecstatic Olympic Stadium, breaking the world record three times.
The Paralympics will close tomorrow and London will host a celebratory parade for 700 Olympic and Paralympic athletes on Monday. Huddersfield will mark the achievements of its Olympic gold medal cyclist Ed Clancy at a civic reception followed by a firework display tomorrow at 7.30pm in St George’s Square.