Glasgow 2014: England's Thornhill & Scott win tandem gold

First Para-sport gold for England

England's Sophie Thornhill and her pilot Helen Scott won the first Para-sport gold of Glasgow 2014 with victory in the tandem sprint event for blind and visually-impaired athletes.

The pair, dominant throughout, beat Scotland's Aileen McGlynn and Louise Haston 2-0 in the best-of-three final.

The silver for McGlynn and Haston is the hosts' first medal of the Games.

"We went out to win and race the best we could and that got us the gold," Thornhill, 18, told BBC Sport.

The Cheshire teenager came to Glasgow having won two world titles with Wales' Rachel James in April.

Sophie Thornhill factfile
Has a form of albinism which affects the pigment in her eyes and skin, giving her around 9% vision
Is a former pupil of Poynton High School, as is Dame Sarah Storey
Started cycling on the advice of family friend and Paralympic champion Anthony Kappes
Won double gold at the World Championships in April with Welsh pilot Rachel James
Has a Jack Russell dog called Alfie

Thornhill and Scott had finished fastest in qualifying at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome before beating Australians Felicity Johnson, the Paralympic champion, and her new pilot Holly Takos 2-0 in the semi-finals.

And the English pair again showed their strength in the final, winning a cagey first heat after swooping into the lead with just over a lap to go.

Scott, who celebrates her 24th birthday on Friday, again guided her tandem into a strong position in the second heat and they could not be caught.

Thornhill and Scott will go for a Glasgow 2014 double in Sunday's kilo.

"We had such a great time out there," said Scott.

"We don't know whether our events will be in the Commonwealth Games next time so we just want to relish it."

Sophie Thornhill and pilot Helen Scott celebrate gold
Thornhill and Scott are the first ever Para-cycling Commonwealth Games medalists
England lead Scotland in the tandem final
Para-cycling is at the Commonwealth Games for the first time
Action from the tandem sprint
The tandems can reach speeds of almost 60km/h round the track

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