Leeds Beckett graduate Kadeena Cox MBE retains cycling gold medal at Tokyo 2020
Leeds Beckett BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science 2013 alumna and Honorary Graduate Kadeena Cox retained her cycling title, having won the same event at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
Kadeena broke the world record on her way to gold in Tokyo, finishing the race in a blistering 34.433 seconds.
In an interview with Channel 4 Kadeena said:
"I tried to enjoy this moment. I did enjoy Rio but I feel like I was so trying to go well that I didn’t really enjoy it so I really wanted to enjoy it,’ Cox told Channel 4 shortly after her win,
“It didn’t hit me until I got to the podium and then I realised why I had done it all so it’s a bit overwhelming.”
Kadeena became the first black athlete to win a Paralympic or Olympic medal in cycling for Team GB in 2016. In 2021 she founded the Kadeena Cox Cycling Academy, which aims to inspire, support and provide opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds to take part in the sport.
Kadeena said she hopes her success in Tokyo will help inspire others to get involved:
“Just do everything you want to do. I fell into cycling by accident and now I want to be what other people can see and if they see me, then they can go on and be better than me.
“I totally expect there to be some young girl or boy sat at home thinking, 'I want to be like Kadeena Cox', and then going on to better everything I’ve done.
"That’s my hope and dream, just to empower people to go and do better than me.”
Kadeena will compete inside the velodrome again on Saturday 28 August in the team sprint before switching her attention to athletics a week later, as she aims to retain another Paralympic title in the T38 400m final.