On fourth throw of the night, Jeremy Campbell secures Paralympic Games crown.
LONDON – Jeremy Campbell set a Paralympic record on Thursday night en route to his second consecutive Paralympic Games gold medal in the men’s discus (F44), recording a throw of 60.05 meters.
“I knew coming into this that I was going to have to do really well,” Campbell said. “I’ve had a really good year training and competing.”
It was Campbell’s fourth attempt that put him in the lead, putting him ahead of Great Britain’s Dan Greaves at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, to the disappointment of the hometown crowd.
The packed Olympic Stadium, at capacity at with 80,000, was unlike anything Campbell had seen.
“That was scary because for some reason, the crowd got to me today and I think that was noticeable,” said Campbell, who set the world record 63.46 earlier this summer. “I just tried to focus. I knew he was trying to throw well, and I’m just glad that I got one out there.”
The medal is actually the third of Campbell’s collection. In addition to his discus medals, he also won gold in Beijing in the pentathlon, an event no longer part of the Paralympic program. Campbell said he didn’t think anything would top his experience in China, but he was wrong.
“London topped it; just the whole crowd, the atmosphere, the fans are amazing, the coverage of it,” he said. “I just think being here for a second time, my heart was just more in it.”
The U.S. was hoping to pick up more hardware in Olympic Stadium on Thursday but missed the podium in a few final events. April Holmes, who was expected to compete in the women’s 200m (T44), did not start the race. She apologized to her fans on Facebook and Twitter, citing a leg injury.
In the women’s 200m (T53), world record holder Jessica Galli finished fourth and Anjali Forber Pratt was fifth. Jordan Bird took sixth in the men’s 800m (T54), Chris Clemens (200m – T36) and Carliegh DeWald (200m – T34) were eighth in their respective events. Cece Mazyck finished 14th in the javelin throw (F57/58).The biggest race of the night, and possibly of the marquee event of the Games, was the men’s 100m sprint (T44), which featured Americans Richard Browne, Blake Leeper and Jerome Singleton. Browne won the silver behind Jonnie Peacock of Great Britain.