Jim Bob Bizzell
(Abilene, Texas) had never heard of the Paralympic Games. Tonight he won a silver medal in the men's 200m final (T44) and set a new personal best in the event - 22.62. It was a moment he'll now never forget.
"I lost my leg a year and five months ago in a motorcycle accident, so it's unbelievable that I'm here competing," said an elated Bizzell.
No stranger to the track, Bizzell was an All American at McMurry University (Abilene, Texas) until his lost his leg below the knee.
Bizzell finished behind South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius who claimed the gold in 21.67.
U.S. teammates Casey Tibbs (San Diego, Calif.) and Danny Andrews (Tucson, Ariz.) finished in fourth (23.40) and fifth (23.54) place, respectively.
Another highlight of the day included a new personal best performance by 14-year-old Chelsea McClammer (Benton City, Wash.), the youngest member of the U.S. Paralympic Team. McClammer dropped 12 seconds in the women's 800m prelim (T54) which qualified her for tomorrow's finals. After the race, she talked about her strategy moving forward.
"I'm going to try and stay in the draft and set another PR," said McClammer. "Even if I don't medal, I'll just be glad to be out there with all of the other athletes and fans. It's the greatest thing just to be here."
In other U.S. finals action, Royal Mitchell (Chula Vista, Calif./Ridgeland, S.C.) finished seventh in the men's 100m (T13) with a time of 11.17.
Three-time Paralympian Jill Kennedy (Charlottesville, Va.) finished in sixth in the women's discus (F40) throwing 20.89m.
Robyn Stawski (Tampa, Fla.) finished 14th in the women's javelin (F33/34-52/53) with a best throw measuring 11.50m and 849 points.
Josh Roberts (Morris, Ala.) finished in seventh in the men's 100m (T52) final in 19.88.
Peter Gottwald (West Chester, Pa.) finished the men's 1500m (T13) in tenth place in 4:16.59.
Josh George (Champaign, Ill.) just narrowly missed the bronze in the men's 200m final (F53), coming in fourth in 26.98.
U.S. Semifinal Results
- Women's 200m (T37)/final - Sabra Hawkes (Rockport, Mass.) - 32.36 (6)
- Women's 800m (T54)/prelim - Chelsea McClammer (Benton City, Wash.) - 1:57.09 (q), Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Md.) - 1:56.56 (Q)
Competition Schedule - Sunday, September 14
9:00 Men's Discus (F53/54)/final - Scot Severn (Caro, Mich.)
9:05 Men's 200m (T12)/prelim - Josiah Jamison (Chula Vista, Calif./Vance, S.C.)
10:00 Women's 200m (T53)/prelim - Anjali Forber-Pratt (Natick, Mass.), Jessica Galli (Savoy, Ill./Hillsborough, N.J.), Maggie Redden (State College, Pa./Jersey City, N.J.)
10:35 Women's 100m (T44)/prelim - April Holmes (Chula Vista, Calif./Somerdale, N.J.)
12:00 Women's 200m (T54)/prelim - Jennifer Goeckel (Seattle, Wash.), Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Md.)
12:39 Men's 4x400m Relay (T53/54)/prelim
17:25 Women's 200m (T54)/final
17:33 Women's 100m (T44)/final
17:40 Men's 800m (T53)/prelim - Adam Bleakney (Champaign, Ill.), Joshua George (Champaign, Ill.)
18:16 Men's 800m (T52)/prelim - Josh Roberts (Morris, Ala.), Steven Toyoji (Tucson, Ariz.)
18:29 Men's 4x400m Relay (T53/54)/final
18:44 Women's 800m Final (T54) - Chelsea McClammer (Benton City, Wash.), Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Md.)Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Md.)
18:50 Men's High Jump (F44/46)/final - Jeff Skiba (Chula Vista, Calif./Sammamish, Wash.)
19:39 Men's 1500m (T54)/prelim - Tyler Byers (Washington, D.C.), Joshua George (Champaign, Ill.), 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).
Daily video highlights of the 2008 Paralympic Games are available at http://www.usparalympics.org/ and http://www.universalsports.com/.