Team USA cyclist secures second gold in as many days; clinches tenth Paralympic medal across both Winter and Summer Games and eyes further glory
Oksana Masters has clinched a second gold medal in as many days after winning the H5 road race at the Fuji International Speedway.
The multiple Paralympic medalist crossed the line in a time of 2:23:39, 3:11 ahead of People’s Republic of China’s SUN Bianbian.
Katia Aere of Italy finished third (2:28:11) with Germany’s seven-time H5 road race world champion Andrea Eskau clocking fourth on 2:47:25.
It was Masters’ tenth Paralympic medal overall after scooping gold in the H4-5 time trial on Tuesday.
“I feel like I’m on cloud nine right now,” an elated Masters said after the race. “At the start I was so nervous, I couldn’t even feel my grips.
“I did not trust myself, but the minute that clock went off and the whistle went off, I just let my body go on auto-pilot.”
A 'true cyclist'
A day after becoming only the 28th Paralympian to win gold in both Summer and Winter Games, the 32-year-old once again found herself battling for top spot with the People’s Republic of China’s SUN Bianbian.
And although intermittently taking the lead throughout, it was Masters who led from the front when it mattered most to seal her fourth Paralympic gold.
“I’ve never won a road race in my life and I never thought I would ever win a road race in my life… I can’t believe it…I don’t know what to say. It doesn’t seem real.
“Everyone was saying to me yesterday I did well. I wanted to prove to myself it wasn’t a one-off, it wasn’t a fluke, it wasn’t an accident.
I wanted to prove I’m growing as a cyclist and I’m making the changes to the wrongs I did back in Rio.
I’m a true cyclist now.
"I can’t wait to go on from this moment and see where it takes me.”
Masters’ highly-anticipated appearance at Tokyo 2020 was almost in doubt after she underwent surgery on one of her legs with just 100 days to go before the Games.
But after making a stunning return to the sport, the versatile athlete will compete at her third Winter Games in Beijing before attention returns to the Summer.
“I’ve got big ambitions for Paris, and then LA in 2028.
“A home Games would be a dream come true.”