BEIJING, China - After falling just 16 points shy of the world record in the men's pentathlon (P44) at the Paralympic Trials in June, Jeremy Campbell (Chula Vista, Calif./Perryton, Texas) came to Beijing with a plan to break it once and for all. Tonight he succeeded - winning gold and setting a new world record with 4,662 points (4,447, previous WR).
"I've been working so hard and was nervous this morning," said an elated Campbell. "To say that I broke the world record at my first Paralympics - there aren't words to describe what I am feeling right now."
Jeff Skiba (Chula Vista, Calif./Sammamish, Wash.) finished with the silver and a personal best with a total of 4,274 points.
"It feels great to get silver against these world class athletes," said Skiba. "We were hoping to go 1-2-3, so that's a disappointment, but a silver medal... I definitely exceeded my expectations. The crowd is the best we've ever seen and really helped us to keep our energy level up."
Casey Tibbs (San Diego, Calif.), silver medalist from Athens and a medal favorite, did not finish the competition after failing to post a qualifying mark in the discus (fourth) event.
In the women's 200m (T52) - the only other U.S. finals competition of the day - U.S. teammates Kerri Morgan (St. Louis, Mo.), Cheryl Leitner (Toms River, N.J.) and Mallerie Badgett (Oxford, Ala.) finished in fifth (40.82), sixth (41.01) and seventh place (43.42), respectively.
Morgan and Badgett, who both made their Paralympic Games debut today, remarked on their races and the competition so far.
"It's incredible... this experience has been more than I thought it would be," said Morgan. "Entering the stadium today and hearing the loud cheering - it was overwhelming. The volunteers and all of the support - it's been amazing."
"It felt pretty good, but I was a little anxious," said Badgett. "I didn't run my best time but I made it through. This is my first Games, and I'm having a blast and I am just excited to be here and want to continue to improve. It's been great... it's a new experience and a good one."
Additional U.S. Results:
Competition Schedule for Friday, September 12
- Men's 200m/prelim (T11) - Elexis Gillette (Raleigh, N.C.) - 24.42 (4)
- Women's 100m/prelim (T53) - Anjali Forber-Pratt (Natick, Mass.) - 17.46 (Q), Jessica Galli (Savoy, Ill./Hillsborough, N.J.) - 17.00 (Q), Maggie Redden (State College, Pa./Jersey City, N.J.) - 19.29 (5)
- Men's 800m/prelim (T54) - Tony Iniguez (Aurora, Ill.) - 1:39.72 (q), Tyler Byers (Washington, D.C.) - 1:38.73 (q)
- Women's 100m final (T37) - Sabra Hawkes (Rockport, Mass.) - 15.17 (15)
- Men's 400m/prelim (T12) - Josiah Jamison (Chula Vista, Calif./Vance, S.C.) - 51.40 (9)
- Women's 400m/prelim (T54) - Jennifer Goeckel (Seattle, Wash.) - 1:01.11 (6), Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Md.) - 54.05 (Q)
- Men's 400m/prelim (T52) - Steven Toyoji (Tucson, Ariz.) - 1:04.47 (q), Josh Roberts (Morris, Ala.) - 1:05.22 (5)
9:05 Women's 5,000m (T53)/final - Amanda McGrory (Champaign, Ill./Kennett Square, Pa.), Cheri Blauwet (Palo Alto, Calif.), Shirley Reilly (Tucson, Ariz.)
9:15 Men's Triple Jump (F11)/final - Elexis Gillette (Raleigh, N.C.)
12:05 Men's 200m (T54)/prelim - Eric Hightower (Glendale, Ariz.)
19:05 Men's Javelin (T42/44)/final - Jeff Skiba (Chula Vista, Calif./Seattle, Wash.)
19:15 Women's 100m (T53)/final - Anjali Forber-Pratt (Natick, Mass.), Jessica Galli (Savoy, Ill./Hillsborough, N.J.)
20:10 Women's 400m (T54)/final - Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Md.)
20:20 Men's 400m (T52)/final - Steven Toyoji (Tucson, Ariz.)
21:14 Men's 800m (T54)/semifinal - Tyler Byers (Washington, D.C.), Tony Iniguez (Aurora, Ill.)
For complete track & field competition results, visit http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRMP/ENG/Schedule/AT.shtml
For more information or to arrange an athlete interview, please contact Beth Bourgeois at 139-1075-4847 (if calling from the U.S., dial 011 86 plus the local number).