Morris rues crash as Paralympic title defence fails

Rachel Morris admitted she was still feeling the effects of her pre-Paralympics crash after missing out on a time trial medal at London 2012.

The 33-year-old British hand-cyclist’s participation in the Games was thrown into serious doubt when she was struck by a car while racing in Guildford nine weeks ago.

Morris suffered shoulder injuries and whiplash in the incident, which also destroyed her bike, but vowed to make the start line at Brands Hatch.

In the end it proved too much to ask for Morris to mirror the performance that took her to gold in the same event four years ago in Beijing .

Crossing the line in 36.38.97 seconds, she could only claim sixth spot, with Switzerland’s Sandra Graf storming to gold in 33.21.61secs ahead of America’s Monica Bascio and Svetlana Moshkovich of Russia.

Lacking the power with fuelled her gold medal race in 2008, Morris was left to curse her luck as she felt her crown slip from her head.

“It has been really bad, it has been horrible, it just couldn’t have been worse really and tough to take but that is life – everyone has ups and downs.

“It has made it really, really hard coming into the event and it definitely made a difference to how I performed.

“I didn’t have the power that I would normally have and while I went past a few people on the uphill to show I still had something it definitely wasn’t where I wanted to be."

Having seen her bike written off by the crash Morris’s bid to buy a replacement in time for the Games was aided by donations from generous supporters.

And while she may not have been able to reward their efforts with another British cycling medal, she had no regrets about taking to the start line.

“It was a really tough race but it is a really good course and the first time we have had a proper course within para-cycling and it’s fantastic to have that chance,” she added.

“It was amazing to have that support behind me and it was a great help and just to experience that was fantastic. There were a lot of people who had come out to support the team and it helps when you’re struggling to give you that lift.”