Carrie ford

Hats off to Rachael Blackmore

Sporting heroes in our modern world have an extra burden to carry. Within seconds of their triumph, with the adrenaline still pumping, somebody is going to thrust a live microphone in their face and demand: ‘What does it feel like to have been the first person of Asian lineage to surmount six metres in the pole vault, to have been the first Lithuanian to have won the Sahara Rally, or the first transgender non-swimmer to have crossed the Channel in a self-propelled bathtub?’ It is the sort of ordeal that led former jockey Mick Fitzgerald, whose wise post-race analyses these days as a pundit are models of profundity, to declare