U.S. women win first medals in track and field
Track and Field
LONDON – Team USA picked up more hardware Saturday night at the Olympic Stadium with two bronze medals, won by Kerry Morgan in the women’s T52 200 meter final and Angela Madsen in the women’s F54/55/56 shot put.
Morgan, who finished fifth in this event at the Beijing 2008 Games, finished third with a time of 36.49. The crowd of 80,000 was overwhelming – in a positive way.
"In Beijing it was close to this but somehow it just feels more intimate the way the seats are set up," Morgan said. "It seems like the crowd is with you on the track. It’s pretty noisy out there."
While Morgan was pleased with her bronze medal, she has her heights set a little higher on a personal level for her next event, which is the 100m on Wednesday.
"I was a little disappointed because I didn’t get a personal best there, so I’m hoping to come out in the 100 meters and run a real clean race and maybe get a personal best," she said. "Hopefully it puts me on the medal stand."
Cassie Mitchell did finish with a personal best in the T52 200m, crossing the line in fourth place with a time of 37.75. Cheryl Leitner was seventh in 42.62.
Madsen was fourth after her first three throws, and for her final attempt threw 8.88, which was good for 934 points and set a new Paralympic record in the F56 category. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps 5811 Military Police, Madsen was on the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team as a rower. She will compete in the women’s F54/55/56 javelin on Wednesday.
Also in event finals Saturday evening for Team USA was Tobi Fawehinmi, who at 17 is making his Paralympic Games debut as the youngest male on the team. He finished fifth with a jump of 13.58, which set a new American record.
The Americans also had strong showings in qualifying rounds of track and field events on Saturday evening. April Holmes qualified for the final of the women’s T44 100m, where she is the defending Paralympic champion as well as the T44 world record and Paralympic record holder.
On the men’s side, three Americans qualified for the T44 200m final, which will be contested Sunday evening. Jim Bob Bizzell, Blake Leeper and Jerome Singleton will face South Africans Oscar Pistorius, who set a new T43 world record Saturday in his qualifying run and Arnu Fourie, who broke Bizzell’s T44 record he had set in Beijing.
"Regardless of what they run I'm going to go out there to get a PR,” Leeper said. “That's all I can ask for, to get the best I can. To be the best you've got to compete against the best.”