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Former F1 driver Allessandro Zanardi has won a Paralympic gold medal at Brands Hatch. The Italian, who lost both legs in a CART accident 11 years ago, is entered into several hand cycling events. Wednesday’s success came in the Men’s Individual H 4 Time Trial, which took place across 16 kilometres (10 miles), instantly sparking a series of congratulatory messages from various names in the motorsport world.
Now 45, Zanardi clinched the top prize with a winning time of 24 minutes and 50.22 seconds, edging out Norbert Mosandl of Germany by just under half a minute. The bronze medal was taken by American Oscar Sanchez.
"There was great emotion," he told ITV News. "Very, very happy but in a way, you know, this moment brings also a little bit of sadness because this was the horizon towards what I set my life for the past two years. Had it not been as exciting, as great in every day of training, I wouldn't have got here.
"What I've learnt in life is that the results you get are a simple consequence of the effort you put into it."
Dropped by Williams after a disappointing campaign in 1999, Zanardi returned to CART. His accident at Germany’s Lausitzring, which made worldwide headlines, saw him t-boned by Alex Tagliani after spinning across the racing line from the pit lane exit.
Full results for the Men’s Individual H 4 Time Trial and more information on Alex Zanardi can be found on the Paralympic Games website.
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