Jennette Jansen wins fourth Paralympic gold medal - 33 years after her last  

Jennette Jansen of Team Netherlands competes during the Women's H4-5 Time Trial at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Jennette Jansen of Team Netherlands competes during the Women's H4-5 Time Trial at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

The 53-year-old Dutch cyclist has clinched her first Paralympic gold medal since Seoul 1988 after victory in the Cycling Road H1-4 road race. Jansen has competed at seven Paralympic Games across three different sports.

The Netherlands' Jennette Jansen won gold in the women's H1-4 road race at the Fuji Speedway International following her bronze medal in the women's H4-5 on Tuesday 31 August.

Jansen won what can be considered one the most closely-fought battles at Tokyo 2020 after crossing the finish line with a time of 56.15 to win gold - just six seconds ahead of Germany's Annika Zeyen, who took silver.

With this gold, Jansen has erased her disappointment about her bronze medal yesterday.

"Yesterday (Tuesday) I was very disappointed I got the bronze medal (in women's H4-5 time trial)," the 53-year-old Dutch athlete said.

"When you look back, it was the highest result I could reach in the mixed class with H5, H4. On a course like this that is hilly, it’s impossible to win against the girls who have the power.

"I was satisfied with it and I could enjoy it a little, but I was still hungry for the gold.

"This was the race I was waiting for and it was a very nice battle," she added.

With two medals at Tokyo 2020, the Para cyclist also hits a career milestone.

Jansen now has 10 Paralympic medals in at seven Paralympic Games - only missing London 2012 - and three sports including Para athletics, wheelchair basketball and Para cycling.

She won three gold medals during her Paralympic debut at Seoul 1988 in the 800m, 1,500m 300m athletics events followed by two silvers in 500m and marathon plus a bronze in the 1,500m at Barcelona 1992.

At Atlanta 1996, she made the switch to wheelchair basketball where she clinched silver. While she didn't attend the London 2012 Games, Jansen returned to the Paralympic stage in road cycling at Rio 2016 where she won bronze in the road race H5.

With a sport career spanning for over more than three decades, there seems to be no retirement date in sight for the Dutch athlete.

“I like sports very much, and it’s proving to myself I can still do this, although of course there will come a moment when the younger generation will pass me."

"Some day it will happen but until that moment I enjoy this.”

The 53-year-old also doesn't see her age as an obstacle in accomplishing all she wants to accomplish in Para cycling.

“In our Para cycling class there are a lot of men and women who are not so young any more. But also in able-bodied cycling, more and more people are of a higher age."

"It is a mind game as well, and you have to build a big engine. When you are older your engine is bigger and bigger, your muscles, your heart, your endurance. You have more capacity in your body, because you have all the years of practice and training. When you are young, most people don’t have so much capacity.

“And I have a good heart, I’m sweet.”