Morecambe wheelchair rugby ace Stuart Robinson thrilled to win gold medal at the Paralympics

Stuart Robinson has won a Paralympic gold medal as Team GB defeated the USA in the wheelchair rugby final in Tokyo

The Morecambe athlete scored 14 tries as GB prevailed 54-49 in a thrilling clash at Yoyogi Stadium.

GB always held the edge in the contest and pulled away in the final quarter of the match after holding just a one point advantage at the end of the third third.

The USA went into the match as the slight favourites having beaten GB narrowly in the pool stages.

Stuart Robinson celebrates winning gold

“I’d always had this goal of being able to play at a Paralympic Games, an opportunity to perform, and I think that was the initial goal, to get here in the first place,” Robinson told the Japan Times.

“Obviously with the events of the pandemic and it looking like it could be postponed or even cancelled - it’s very fortunate that it’s managed to go ahead.

Just to come here and to play how well we’ve played and to bounce back from the pool game defeat (against the U.S.) as well and to come back and to smash the Americans and come away with a Paralympic gold medal, it’s a lot to take in.”

Robinson was one of the stars for a British team that was not expected to contend for a medal in Tokyo. Great Britain had never finished higher than fourth at the Paralympics Games.

The British, however, pulled off a stunning run behind Robinson, who scored 14 tries in the final, Jim Roberts, who had 24, and a group of players who came together and all pulled their weight.

Robinson is a veteran who served in Britain’s Royal Air Force. He suffered a number of serious injuries in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2013, spending six weeks in an induced coma and having both legs amputated. He was hospitalised for two months.

He’s one of three military veterans who served in Afghanistan who are competing at the Games for Great Britain. The others also claimed medals, with cyclist Jaco Van Gass winning gold in the men’s C3 3,000-meter individual pursuit and powerlifter Micky Yule taking bronze in men’s under 72 kg powerlifting.

“We’ve never gone out there just to be a focal point for anybody,” Robinson said. “To be in that fortunate position, it’s a great opportunity. I think that if anyone can take anything away seeing Micky doing his lifts or see Jaco on the bike then it can only be a great thing.”

GB produced a superb performance in today's semi-final to beat the hosts Japan, who enjoyed a 100% record through the group stages, 55-49

Robinson, a former RAF patrol commander, lost his legs when his military vehicle was blown up by a Taliban roadside bomb while he was engaged in a perilous ammunition run in Helmand.

Throughout the competition, he scored 58 tries.

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