TORONTO – Jarryd Wallace (Athens, Georgia) is the fastest 100-meter T44 man in the world after breaking the world record today with a time of 10.71 at the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto. With Wallace’s gold, Team USA finished the second day of track and field competition with an impressive 20 medals—seven gold, nine silver and four bronze.
Wallace faced a strong but legal 1.7 meter per second wind as he came out of the blocks blazing to take the reigning world record title from U.S. teammate Richard Browne. He faced off against two of Brazil’s fastest, including two-time Paralympic medalist Alan De Oliveira, to run away with the victory and shave .04 of a second off of Browne’s previous world mark set in 2013.
“I was sitting in the blocks and honestly just said a little prayer,” said Wallace. “I knew it was going to be a fast race today and it happened. The wind could’ve gone either way, and I’m grateful to have added my name to the record books again.”
Browne (Jackson, Mississippi) was unable to compete due to the impending birth of his child but later tweeted congratulations to Wallace on his feat: “Huge shout out to my guy @aleginfaith for the WR. Congrats bro. You deserve it!”
The win was especially significant to Wallace who defended his gold medal from the 2011 Parapan Ams in Guadalajara. The event served a catalyst in his career as Wallace went on to compete at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France with a target on his back as one to watch.
“Honestly, I’m trying to be composed but this means a lot to me,” Wallace said. “The Parapan Games were my first international competition in 2011, and to defend this title and break the world record, I’m a little lost for words and very humble and grateful.”
Once again, Team USA took the first medal of the day on day two of competition. Charles “Chaz” Davis (Grafton, Massachusetts) held on in the men’s 5000 T12 race, finishing with flare as his strong kick led him in the final stretch to the silver medal. The University of Hartford senior won his first international medal with a time of 15.48.87 in his Parapan Am debut.
“It was amazing,” Davis said. “I didn’t really know what to expect coming into the Games and a lot was running through my mind, but I was really glad that I was able to still have a kick in the last 400 to medal.”
U.S. teammates followed Wallace’s record-breaking performance by sweeping the 100 T52 race with Raymond Martin (Jersey City, New Jersey), who upgraded his 2011 Parapan silver to gold. The four-time Paralympic gold medalist was joined on the podium by Gianfranco Iannotta (Garfield, New Jersey) in second and Paralympian Paul Nitz (Edina, Minnesota), who rounded out the sweep in third place.
“This is my second Parapan Ams and last time I got a silver so it’s good to come out with a gold this time, especially in a great field,” Martin said. “It’s great to come out with a Team USA sweep.”
Team USA posted another podium sweep in the men’s 100 T42 as Paralympian Shaquille Vance (Houston, Mississippi) defended his 2011 gold alongside teammates Regas Woods (Oscala, Florida) and Desmond Jackson (Durham, North Carolina) in second and third, respectively.
Winning her second international medal with gold was Hannah McFadden (Clarksville, Maryland) as she went one-two with Paralympic teammate Cheri Madsen (Nebraska City, Nebraska) in the women’s 400 T54.
At their first Parapan Ams, Roderick Townsend (Stocktown, California) and teammate Tobi Fawehinmi (Arlington, Texas) pushed each other to the end in the men’s long jump T47, as Townsend took first and Fawehinmi second. Townsend (Stockton, California) jumped 7.18 meters while Fawehinmi (Arlington, Texas) followed with 6.99.
Two-time Paralympian Kerri Morgan (St. Louis, Missouri) won silver in the women’s 100 T52. She was followed with the bronze by Cassie Mitchell (Warner, Oklahoma), who had a two-medal day; besides the bronze in the 100m T52, she also won silver in the discus F51/52. The two medals bring her tally to three for the Games, as she won bronze in the club throw in last night’s competition.
“It’s always an honor to race or throw for your country and to be able to do it three times and come out with three medals is really awesome,” Mitchell said.
Other athletes who saw the stars and stripes raised on the podium included gold medalist Rachael Morrison (Farmington Hills, Michigan), women’s discus F51/52; gold medalists David Brown (St. Louis, Missouri) and guide Jerome Avery (Lemoore, California), men’s 100 T11; silver medalist Angela Madsen (Long Beach, California), women’s shot put F56/57; silver medalists Josiah Jamison (Vance, South Carolina) and guide Rolland Slade (San Diego, California), men’s 100 T12; silver medalist Kerri Morgan (St. Louis, Missouri), women’s 100 T52; and bronze medalist Michael Murray (Nashville, Tennessee), men’s 400 T20.
Competition continues from the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium on Wednesday, August 12 with livestreaming available courtesy of the IPC. Visit TeamUSA.org/Parapan and follow @USParalympics on Twitter for up-to-the minute results, schedules and much more.