Fifety two-year-old Japanese cyclist Keiko Sugiura emerged as a strong medal contender at the ongoing Hangzhou Asian Para Games after she clinched two medals and broke the Games record twice.
Sugiura claimed a silver medal in the women’s C1-3 3000m individual pursuit on October 23 after dashing the previous C3 class record in the qualifying round in the morning.
In the women’s C1-3 500m time trial the following day, Sugiura clinched bronze and set a new Asian Para Games record for the C3 class with a time of 39.995 seconds.
A longtime cycling enthusiast, Sugiura was injured during a road race, resulting in a series of multiple contusions, crushed fractures, brain dysfunction and other injuries.
During her rehabilitation, Sugiura picked up para-cycling and returned to the road afterward.
In 2021, 50-year-old Sugiura won the women’s C1-5 time trial at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, becoming Japan’s oldest-ever para gold medalist.
“I lost my memory because of the injury, but it made me not afraid to race fearlessly,” said the 52-year-old, who will continue cycling despite her age.
“I keep trying every year, and every year older is a new challenge for me.”