Kadeena Cox got a Paralympic-sized kick out of beating the boys and guiding Britain to mixed team sprint gold in world record time.
The Leeds star was one of five women among 27 riders in the mixed gender and mixed classification event, the crescendo of the track cycling programme at the Games.
And after leading out a qualifying ride that banked a place in the final, she was the only woman in the six that formed British and Chinese teams to face off for the gold medal.
Joined by Jaco van Gass and Jody Cundy, Cox faced the tall task of overhauling a Chinese trio who held the world record and world title.
The 30-year-old rode a blistering first lap to lay the foundation for victory in a huge world record of 47.579, adding to her time trial gold a day earlier.
“It was so good to have a female on the podium, and that female just happened to be me,” said Cox, who is able to train full-time and benefit from world class facilities, technology, coaching and support teams thanks to National Lottery funding.
“But it’s great to see. It’s a mixed team sprint and I think it should be mixed. It’s nice to be a woman in there.
“The Chinese guys are amazing, they beat us at worlds and doing world records, but I’ve got two amazing guys beside me and I knew with them we could absolutely nail it.
“I want to be a role model to women, to people from my background, to empower people and let them know that nothing should hold them back.
“I could sit back and be scared, say I’m racing a team of amazing guys, but I’m a great athlete in my own right and have two amazing athletes alongside me.
“So if you put your mind to something you can absolutely nail it. I’ve not gone sub-20 before and I did it twice in 24 hours. You can do whatever you put your mind to.”
Cox has completed the first half of a dizzying sporting double in Tokyo, and now has six days to recover ahead of her gold medal bid in the T38 400m on the track.
After a year of flitting between bio-secure bubbles and avoiding Covid complications, her biggest test will come in defending her athletics title.
The Yorkshire ace has been open about the fact that she hasn’t done as much training on two feet as she’d have like and is far more confident on two wheels.
But the Paralympics is again bringing out the best in an athlete who became the first in a generation to win medals in different sports at the same Games at Rio 2016.
“My body’s a little bit broken, the first ride we did it felt so heavy,” she said.
“But that last ride I wanted to do everything for the guys. I had on a bigger gear but it felt small. I just knew I had to do everything to get them into the race and that’s what I did.”
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