BEIJING, China - In the Event Preview for the Women's 500m Time Trial (LC1-2/CP 4), Jennifer Schuble's (CP4/Homewood, Ala.) name wasn't even mentioned as those to watch. But when the race was complete, Schuble was the one everyone was talking about. Schuble took the 2008 crown in a time which left her closest rival, YE Yaping (CHN) two seconds behind.
With a time of 40.278, Schuble not only won the Paralympic gold medal, she also set a new record in the CP4 class.
"It just feels awesome to finally win a medal for the U.S. in the velodrome," said a thrilled Schuble, referring to the fact this was the first medal for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in track cycling. "I knew to get to the podium; I had to break the world record. I'm just enjoying this moment."
Schuble has only been in the U.S. track cycling program for 18 months. At the World Championships last year, Schuble did not even medal in the event.
"I am very proud of her," said Head Coach Craig Griffin (Colorado Springs, Colo.). "She was riding a 45 second 500m last year and now seeing where she is this year is a testament to how hard she has worked and the sacrifices she made. It hasn't been an easy path but hard work pays off."
Schuble will take to the track again September 10 when she competes in the Individual Pursuit, possibly adding anther medal to the list.
"I really like this track," added Schuble. "It is a perfect track for me and it is very smooth. China really put a phenomenal velodrome together."
Greta Neimanas (LC1/Colorado Springs, Colo.) also competed in the LC1-2/CP4 Women's 500m Time Trial and with a time of 40.265 posted a personal best. In the LC3-4/CP3 Women's 500m Time Trial Allison Jones (LC3/Denver, Colo.) posted a time of 46.397 and Barbara Buchan (CP3/Bend, Ore.) finished with a time of 49.156. Both times were personal bests for them as well.
"Every athlete had a personal best today," commented Griffin. "As a coach that is all you can really ask for. I am really encouraged by today's races."
U.S. cyclists will take to the track again on Tuesday when Anthony Zahn (LC4/Riverside, Calif.) will compete in the Men's LC 4 Individual Pursuit, followed by the Women's B&VI 1-3 Individual Pursuit which will feature the tandem team of Karissa Whitsell (B&VI/Eugene Ore.) and Mackenzie Woodring (Pilot for Whitsell/Grand Rapids, Mich.). Mike Farrell (CP4/Colorado Springs, Colo.) will round out the competition as he competes in the 1 Km Time Trial.
For more information or to arrange an athlete interview, please contact Katrina Shaklee at 13910754730 (if calling from the U.S., dial 011 86 plus the local number).