LYON, France - Tatyana McFadden won an unprecedented sixth title at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships today in Lyon, France. With a win in the women's 400 meters T54, she becomes the first woman to win six gold medals in the same year, while her teammate Raymond Martin became the first man to win five individual world titles by winning the men's 400m T52 in 59.85, a championship record.
It was a golden day all around for the United States with five world titles won, including Richard Browne (Jackson, Miss.), Blake Leeper (Kingsport, Tenn.), Jerome Singleton (Irmo, S.C.) and Jarryd Wallace (Athens, Ga.) in the men's 4x100m relay. Elexis Gillette (Raleigh, N.C.) won the men's long jump F11, while Cassie Mitchell (Atlanta, Ga.) won the women's shot put F52/53.
Team USA also claimed four silver medals and three bronze medals on Day 8.
With the marathon races remaining on Sunday, the United States ranks second in the overall medal count with 52 medals (17 golds, 18 silvers and 17 bronzes), only one medal behind No. 1 Russia. Previous to the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, the most medals won by Team USA in track and field at the Paralympic Games or world championships was the 34 medals won at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The day started out on a high note for Team USA with a world record 40.73 in the men's 4x100m T42-46 relay. Already with seven individual medals between them at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, Browne, Leeper, Singleton and Wallace took home relay gold in terrific style.
With 100m and 200m T44 bronze medalist Singleton leading off at the gun, the Americans quickly took the lead. Browne, who set a new 100m T44 world record in his semi-final this week before winning silver in the final, extended that lead up the back straight before 200m T44 champion Jarryd Wallace took on the bend.
Three-time silver medalist Blake Leeper just had to hold to help the Americans take home the gold with a new world record.
"It felt good, I had a tough week taking nothing but silvers," Leeper said. "But you know, when I have these guys getting me started I knew that we had no choice but to take gold. It shows that individually you struggle, but as a team we come together - we deserve the gold and we take the gold."
The same quartet was disqualified in London.
"It feels amazing, this was even sweeter than the last one because I'm next to my teammates," Wallace said. "We worked hard for this and we came here with a goal. We needed clean exchanges after London when we had a little bit of a disappointment getting disqualified, and we got our redemption."
After the relay, it was time for individuals to shine again.
"I can't quite believe it," said McFadden (Clarksville, Md.), who destroyed the field to finish in 53.74 seconds. "It's definitely a dream come true - the first woman to win all events from the 100 to the 5,000. History is made."
"To sweep six in a row has been really, really tough but you have to have belief in all events you do because if you have any doubts you already start to lose the race," added McFadden, who won three gold medals and a bronze medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Behind McFadden were Switzerland's Manuela Schaer (55.34) and Cheri Becerra-Madsen (Union, Neb.), who ran a personal best 56.21 for a bronze medal. Hannah McFadden (Clarksville, Md.) was seventh with a personal best 58.56.
Tatyana McFadden has a few weeks of rest before she begins training for fall marathons, including the ING New York City Marathon. In New York, McFadden will act as team captain of the Team USA Endurance program, a new United States Olympic Committee fundraising platform that gives runners the unique opportunity to not only support Team USA, but to be a part of Team USA. The USOC will have 30 spots in the Nov. 3 race.
Not to be outdone, McFadden's 19-year-old training mate Martin (Jersey City, N.J.) earned his own place in the history books by winning the men's 400m T52 in 59.85, a championship record. Martin, who won all four of the events he entered at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, has never been defeated in a major international competition.
"The IPC added the 1,500 to my classification and I decided to take on a full program like I did for London and it paid off," Martin said. "I came in confident and knew it would be tough. It definitely was not easy. I knew my training would put me to where I wanted to be."
Martin was followed by Americans Gianfranco Iannotta of Garfield, N.J. (1:03.03) and Steven Toyoji of Campbell, Calif. (1:03.53), but Iannotta was later disqualified, preventing an American sweep. Toyoji's time was a personal best.
The closet event of the day came in the field when just eight centimeters separated the podium finishers in the men's long jump F11. Gillette, who won the silver medal in the event at the last three Paralympic Games, took gold with the aid of a 7.0 m/s tailwind that helped him jump 6.32m.
Silver went to Chinese Taipei's Chuan-Hui Yang, who jumped 6.30m, and bronze Spain's Xavier Parras, who jumped 6.24m. Tanner Gers (Tucson, Ariz.) finished ninth with a jump of 5.33m, which came on his second attempt.
Cassie Mitchell set a championship record 5.79m (998 points) to take top podium spot in the women's shot put F52/53. Silver went to Ukraine's Svitlana Stetsyuk (4.77m/896) and bronze Canada's Pamela Lejean (4.46m/839).
Later in the day, Mitchell received her second medal of the day, a bronze in women's 200m T52 race. She finished second to Canada's Michelle Stilwell, who completed a hat trick of world titles in the final race at the Stade du Rhone with a championship record of 35.71, and Kerri Morgan (St. Louis, Mo.). Morgan finished in 40.84 while Mitchell raced a 42.84.
Morgan and Mitchell also shared the podium in the 100m, with Mitchell second and Morgan third, and the 800m, with Morgan second and Mitchell third.
China's Paralympic champion Hongzhuan Zhou won a thrilling women's 400m T53 in 56.76 breaking a 15-year-old championship record. But it was a tight finish as America Shirley Reilly (Tucson, Ariz.), who won a gold medal in the women's marathon at the 2012 Paralympic Games, clocked 56.98, holding off Angela Ballard (57.00).
"I am excited, it was my last chance to go home with a medal, and I made it," Reilly said. "It is silver but I am totally satisfied because it is my season best. The finish was so close I had to check on the screen which position I ranked."
Chelsea McClammer (Benton City, Wash.) was fourth with a personal best 57.45.
World record holder Daniel Silva of Brazil set a championship record of 50.38 in the 400m T11, adding to his 200m bronze. The silver medal went David Brown of St. Louis, Mo., who finished in 51.71 while France's Timothee Adolphe picked up bronze for his time of 52.13.
It is the first individual medal for Brown, who has a silver medal from the relay earlier in the week.
U.S. Army veteran Scott Winkler (Pittsburgh, Pa.) earned a bronze medal in the men's shot put F54/55 while Steven Hancock (Pueblo, Colo.), a U.S. Navy veteran, placed 15th with a throw of 8.27m. On his sixth attempt, Winkler snagged a spot on the podium by throwing 10.82.
Winkler's bronze is one of three medals won by U.S. military veterans in Lyon. On Day 4, U.S. Army veteran Scot Severn (Caro, Mich.) won a silver medal in the men's shot put F52/53 with a season's best 8.26 meters to secure a spot on the podium. On Day 5, U.S. Army veteran Ce-Ce Mazyck (Columbia, S.C.) claimed the bronze medal in the women's javelin F57/58 with a throw of 19.83, only two hundredths from a silver medal.
Ten veterans are on the 2013 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field World Championship Team, which also includes two active duty service members. Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense, U.S. Paralympics and its partners provide thousands of opportunities for veterans and service members with physical disabilities to compete in Paralympic sport at the recreational, intermediate and elite levels.
In the men's 400m T34 today, Austin Pruitt (Green Acres, Wash.) narrowly missed a medal, placing fourth with a personal best 55.25. Amy McDonaugh (Irmo, S.C.) was fourth in the women's 400m T13.
April Holmes (Kissimmee, Fla.), who won the bronze medal in the women's 100m T44, finished fifth in the 200m with a season's best time of 29.21.
In the women's 100m T42 final, Lacey Henderson (Denver, Colo.) was fifth with a time of 18.59 while U.S. teammate Scout Bassett (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) placed sixth. Bassett, a world champion paratriathlete who is competing in track and field for the first time, finished in 18.68.
Kate Callahan (San Antonio, Texas), a U.S. Air Force veteran, finished sixth in the women's discus F57/58. Her final throw of the event was her best, reaching 26.02m.
Sabra Hawkes (Rockport, Mass.) finished sixth in the women's 400m T37 with a time of 1:14.80.
Stephanie Timmer (Naperville, Ill.), U.S. Marines Corps veteran, finished seventh in the women's shot put F12, throwing 9.01 on her fourth attempt. In the men's shot put F44, U.S. Navy veteran Max Rohn (Longmont, Colo.) finished 11th with a throw of 11.24m. His best throw came on his first attempt of the competition.
Katie Walker (Wilmington, Ohio), who is making her world championship debut after discovering Paralympic sport on YouTube last October, ran 14.44 in the women's 100m T46. She placed eighth overall.
Sam Craven (Walnut Creek, Calif.) placed 15th in the men's discus throw F32/33/34. On his third attempt of the day, he threw 25.23m.
The marathon concludes the competition on Sunday.
The 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, July 19-28, feature more than 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/lyon2013.
For more information, please contact Jamie Blanchard, U.S. Paralympics, at 719-237-2179 or firstname.lastname@example.org.