PARALYMPICS: Tredegar's Mark Colbourne gets another silver and targets Rio
IF there is one person more tired than Mark Colbourne after winning his third medal at the Paralympics it’s his mum, Margaret.
Mrs Colbourne didn’t make it to Brands Hatch today to see her son win silver in the men’s C1 16km time trial.
She was recuperating at home in Tredegar after a weekend of celebrations following Colbourne’s gold medal in the C1 3km individual pursuit and silver in the C1-2-3 1km time trial in the velodrome.
The 42-year-old paracyclist, who was left with lower leg paralysis after a paragliding accident three years ago, finished 12.94 seconds behind Germany’s Michael Teuber today.
But this time neither his daughter Jessica nor his mum were there to share in his moment of joy.
“Mum didn’t make it. She had a mad day when they painted the post box,” said Colbourne. “She was on the front page of the Argus and she didn’t sit down all day.
“I asked her how she was feeling and she said, ‘I’m absolutely exhausted, thanks to you!’ People came up from south Wales to support me and they’ll relay it to her and my daughter will be following it on Twitter.”
Colbourne was pleased to have picked up another medal even if he really wanted gold.
“It’s a great day and another medal. You can’t take that feeling away,” he added. “Yes, I’m disappointed because I wanted to win gold but I came here and gave it 100 per cent.
“I won the main event that I wanted to win on the track – the pursuit – that was my dream. The kilo was very close and the time trial too.
“It’s always disappointing to come second but it’s better to come second than last.”
The former Wales volleyball international has one last chance to add to his medal collection in the men’s road race tomorrow but he says the nature of the Brands Hatch course will make it difficult.
“It’s very difficult with the hills for someone with my disability,” he explained.
“The course is in the favour of the C3 cyclists. It’s going to be tough for us C1 guys.
“I’ve got no hamstrings and no glutes working so you put me on an 11 per cent hill and it’s like someone has taken my batteries out.”
Colbourne is in fact already looking beyond today’s race and towards the Rio games in 2016. He’s determined to beat Teuber, who also got the better of him at the 2011 World Championships.
“I’m catching Michael Teuber month by month but you can’t rush nature. He’s been racing for 12 years and I’ve been going for two,” he said.
“Another year or two years of training and the gap will get smaller.
“Maybe in Rio I’ll catch him.”