Tokyo Paralympics: Team GB 'have rewritten history books' after finishing second in medal table

Hannah Cockroft (right) and Kare Adenegan (left) celebrate winning gold and silver respectively in the Women's T34 800 metre final. Photo By Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Team GB's Paralympics chef de mission Penny Briscoe has said the team "have rewritten the history books" after finishing in second place in the medal table.

The men's wheelchair basketball team and Krysten Coombs (men's SH6 badminton singles) claimed bronze medals on the final day to see Team GB only finish behind China in the medal haul.

Team GB finished with 124 medals including 41 golds and although the tally has dropped from Rio 2016, the team secured a new record and won medals in 18 of the 19 sports they entered.

"The medal total was always going to be difficult in terms of the return of Russian athletes," Briscoe told BBC Radio 5 Live. " But for 18 out of 19 sports to deliver medal success was an absolutely phenomenal effort by the team.

"We've rewritten the history books out here in Tokyo. It has been a monumental effort. It has been challenging, complex and incredibly demanding.

"Not only in the 12 days we've been competing but in the 18 months leading up to the Games."

Sarah Stoney became Britain's most successful Paralympian after winning her 17th gold medal, while Hannah Cockroft and Kadeena Cox broke world records to also claim gold in Tokyo.

Swimmer Reece Dunn was Britain's most successful athlete in Tokyo with five medals (three golds) on his debut, while five-time champion swimmer Ellie Simmonds and Libby Clegg called time on their Paralympic careers.

"I think these Games were just sensational," International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons said. "The sport was unbelievable, world records were broken in every possible sport.

"Performances were fantastic. To think that these athletes have prepared for these Games under the circumstances of the pandemic, facing restrictions, is unbelievable.

"It's proof that the Paralympic movement is stronger than ever before."