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Gold! Sensational Eoghan Clifford battles knee injury to win second Paralympic medal

The three-time World champion adds the Paralympic crown to his collection.

Image: Diarmuid Greene/SPORTSFILE

– Ryan Bailey reports from Pontal, Rio de Janeiro 

EOGHAN CLIFFORD CONTINUED his dominance of the C3 Time Trial this afternoon as he powered his way to a sensational victory in Rio.

The Limerick native, who is a three-time World champion in this event, adds Paralympic gold to the bronze he won in the Individual Pursuit on the track last Friday.

Clifford finished in a time of 38:21.79 around the 30km course to beat Masaki Fujita of Japan and Canada’s Michael Sametz. His margin of victory was a whopping one minute and eight seconds.

The 35-year-old joins Jason Smyth, Michael McKillop and the tandem pair of Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal in winning gold at these Games and brings Ireland’s overall medal tally to six.

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games - Day 7 Source: Diarmuid Greene/SPORTSFILE

The lecturer had been struggling with a debilitating knee injury, due to a degenerative muscle disease, but he showed no signs of pain as he obliterated the rest of the field with a performance which emphatically underlines his supremacy at this level.

“Physically it was painful,” he admitted. “Power wise it wasn’t one of my best ever rides. I was really disciplined during the ride.

“I was a bit angry, I wasn’t happy with the ride earlier in the week and wanted to prove that I am a better rider than that.”

Even a problem with his chain midway through the race couldn’t derail his bid for gold, as he justified his status as pre-race favourite.

He will go into Friday’s road race with the same mantle, and few would bet against him winning a third medal of this glorious Games.

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Ryan Bailey

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