Tatyana McFadden wins first title at 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships

By Jamie M. Blanchard | July 21, 2013, 8:30 a.m. (ET)
Tatyana McFadden
Tatyana McFadden kept her quest for six world titles alive on Sunday by winning the women's 200 meter T54 final.

LYON, France - Tatyana McFadden won the gold medal in the women's 200 meter T54 to close out the morning session on Day 2 of the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France. It was one of four medals for Team USA.

Competition continues in Lyon on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. local time.

McFadden won gold with a time of 28.69. In that race, it was a near American sweep with her U.S. teammates Cheri Becerra-Madsen (Union, Neb.) and Hannah McFadden (Clarksville, Md.), her younger sister, finishing third and fourth, respectively.

"I didn't have a very good start - it's really hot and really humid so I slipped off the start but I had to focus on my finish," McFadden said. "Because of my bad start I just had to focus on the last 150."

McFadden has the final of the women's 5000m T54 awaiting her Sunday night. In Lyon, the three-time gold medalist from the 2012 Paralympic Games is pursuing six world titles: 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m and 5000m.

Becerra-Madsen's medal marks a triumphant return to wheelchair racing for the once storied star, who claimed multiple medals, including gold, at the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. She has been retired for 13 years.

With her daughters old enough to spend the day at school, Becerra-Madsen has found time to train again, one reason that led to her return this season.

"Another is just to honor my brother," Becerra-Madsen said as she fought back tears. "He passed away five years ago in a car accident with my dad. So this is in his honor."

"When I started racing, he was three and he traveled with me," she said "He went to '96 Games and Sydney. After I had the girls, he was always like 'You need to start competing again. The girls need to experience it.' Some of his best memories were being with me racing so I want to give that opportunity to my girls."

She finished with a personal best 30.32.

"I'm glad I just medaled," Becerra-Madsen said. "To be back after 13 years, it's really exciting."

In the women's 200m T53, Chelsea McClammer (Benton City, Wash.) ran a 31.95 to win her first major international medal, a bronze, since taking five gold medals and a bronze medal at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. The top prize went to China's Lisha Huang.

"I've never medaled at a world championship before so I'm really happy," McClammer said. "This feels really good. I'm hoping to make a comeback this meet."

Zena Cole (Oregon, Ohio) won the bronze medal in the women's discus throw F51/52/53, a competition where fellow American Cassie Mitchell (Atlanta, Ga.) finished fourth. Cole's medal winning mark, 5.80m, came on her first attempt.

"I'm just blessed to have the opportunity to compete here," Cole said. "I'm excited."

In the men's 200m F11, David Brown (St. Louis, Mo.) and guide Rolland Slade finished fourth with a time of 22.91. Brazil's Lucas Prado won gold with guide Laercio Martins, clocking a world championship record 22.55.

Kate Callahan (San Antonio, Texas), a U.S. Air Force veteran, threw 9.12m in her fifth of six attempts to finish fifth in the women's shot put F55/56/57. Callahan is one of 12 military athletes - 10 veterans and two active duty - competing on the 76 member 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field World Team.

Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense, U.S. Paralympics provides thousands of opportunities for veterans and service members with physical disabilities to compete in Paralympic sport at the recreational, intermediate and elite levels.

Markeith Price (Baltimore, Md.) and Tyson Gunter (Pocatello, Idaho) finished sixth and eighth, respectively, in the men's long jump T13. Price jumped a personal best 6.47m. Gunter jumped a 6.24.

The 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, July 19-28, feature over 1,100 athletes, including 76 Americans, from nearly 100 countries. Live streaming and on demand video is available at www.ParalympicSport.TV while live results are available at www.paralympic.org/events/lyon-2013.

Through the morning session of Day 2, Team USA has seven medals (two golds, one silver and four bronze).

For more information, please contact Jamie Blanchard, U.S. Paralympics, at 719-237-2179 or jamie.blanchard@usoc.org