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Team USA Closes Paralympic Track And Field Worlds With 39 Medals

By U.S. Paralympics | Oct. 31, 2015, 2:53 p.m. (ET)

The U.S. relay team celebrates winning silver in the men's 4x100-meter T42-47 at the IPC Athletics World Championships at Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium on Oct. 31, 2015 in Doha, Qatar.


After 10 days of competition in Doha, Qatar, Team USA athletes wrapped up the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships with 13 gold, 16 silver and 10 bronze medals for a total of 39. This put the U.S. third in the overall medal count behind only China and Russia while setting three world records, four championship records and five American records. Here's a look at the action of the final five days.

Click here to read a recap of the first five days of competition.

Day 6

Team USA had one of its most impressive performances yet at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships, winning six additional medals on the sixth day of competition--three gold, two silver and one bronze. The United States still stands in third place in the overall medal tally behind China and Germany with 25 medals.

Lex Gillette (Raleigh, North Carolina) held onto his world title as he took gold in the men’s long jump T11. Gillette jumped to the lead with his first attempt and increased his lead on his fifth attempt as he outdistanced runner-up Elchin Muradov of Azerbaijan by 11 centimeters. Gillette’s winning mark was 6.38-meters.

“The long jump was great today,” Gillette said. “I had a slight hiccup on my fourth attempt when I jumped and landed outside of the pit, but those things are a part of the event. I’ll put my body on the line every time for Team USA, especially if I can come out with a gold!”

It’s been nothing but gold for Ray Martin (Jersey City, New Jersey) as he took home his second world title in the men’s 100 T52, clocking in with a time of 17.36. Martin also won gold in the men’s 1500 T52 just one day prior.

“I feel great,” Martin said. “The 100-meter has always been sort of my achilles heel. The fact that I’m getting better and better at it just makes me more confident going into Rio.”

Rachael Morrison (Farmington Hills, Michigan) smashed her competition, breaking a world record in the women’s discus throw F52 after throwing an incredible 12.86 on her third attempt. Morrison will end her time in Doha taking home gold and silver medals after taking second place in the women’s club throw F51 just three days earlier.

Kym Crosby (Yuba City, California) picked up her first international medal after sprinting to a second place finish in the women’s 200 T13, just behind Russia’s Ilse Hayes.

“It felt amazing out there,” Crosby said. “I was a little nervous going out there since it’s my first international competition. I didn’t know what to expect coming here, so far I’m having a blast and enjoying every minute of it.”

Hunter Woodhall (Syracuse, Utah) raced to a silver medal in the men’s 400 T44 with a personal best of 49.05. Woodhall was able to come ahead of some of the world’s toughest competition, including teammates David Prince (Venice, Florida) who took fifth and A.J. Digby (Bowling Green, Ohio) in sixth. Woodhall, 16, now owns two medals in his world championship debut after capturing bronze in the 200 on Sunday.

“I think I ran a good race and grabbed a personal best and that’s really all I came here for,” Woodhall said. “It’s my first world championships so I’m still young in the game, but it feels good to get my second medal.”

Newcomer David Blair (Eagle Mountain, Utah) picked up his second medal of the competition, taking home a bronze in the men’s shot put F44 and breaking an American record. Blair was sitting off of the podium after four attempts but with a record-setting 15.49 throw on the fifth, secured the bronze medal. Blair also medaled on the first day of competition after finishing second next to teammate Jeremy Campbell (Perryton, Texas) in the men’s discus F44.

“The competition was a lot of fun,” said Blair. “ There was only one centimeter between first and second place and three centimeters between third and fourth, so it was very close. It’s nice to come away with the bronze. It’s my first world championship’s so it has been nice to come away with two medals.”

Chelsea McClammer (Richland, Washington) just missed the podium in the women’s 800 T54 with a fourth place finish to clock in at 1:54.10, only two one-hundredths of a second behind Australia’s Angela Ballard. In a tough battle to the end, Cheri Madsen (Union, Nebraska) took the fourth spot in the women’s 400 T52 with a season best of 57.00.

Day 7

The newest generation of Team USA athletes took the spotlight at the Qatar Sports Club as the United States finished with three more podium finishes. After the seventh day of competition at the IPC Athletics World Championships, Team USA had ten gold, 11 silver and seven bronze medals for 28 medals total medals.

At only 19 years of age, Deja Young (Mesquite, Texas) won her first world championship medal in Doha after taking silver in the women’s 200 T47 with a time of 25.53. Cuba’s Yunidis Castillo took first place only a tenth of a second ahead of Young after clocking in with a time of 25.43.

“Today I feel amazing and very humbled,” said Young. “I fought to the finish and it was an amazing competition. I’m very happy with the win, anytime I’m on the podium it’s a good win. I’m just very happy to be here.”

Roderick Townsend (Stockton, California) took home his second world championship medal with a silver medal finish in the men’s long jump T47. On his third attempt, Townsend made his mark with a jump of 7.08. Townsend will look to take home a world title in his marquee event, the men’s high jump T47, in Thursday’s evening session.

“I’m feeling really good and excited about the high jump tomorrow,” Townsend said. “It’s not my best performance in the long jump today, but it’s not every day that you can go out and get a medal at the world championships.”

Grace Norman (Jamestown, Ohio) picked up her first medal in Doha with a bronze in the women’s 400 T44. After coming in at 1:03.83, Norman also broke the American record in her track and field world championships debut. This is the second world championship podium in as many months for Norman, after finishing second in the PT4 classification at the paratriathlon world championships in September.

“I was very surprised how well today went,” Norman said. “It was definitely painful during that last hundred meters. There were a lot of fast athletes out there and they pushed me a lot, I had a great first world championships experience.”

David Brown (St. Louis, Missouri) alongside guide Jerome Avery (Lemoore, California) ran a season’s best 22.70 to take the first place spot in the men’s 200 T11, qualifying as the top seed going into tomorrow night’s final. Brown and Avery will be looking to grab their second world title of the week and break their own world record of 22.41.

Day 8

Team USA added an additional five medals to its tally on the eighth day of competition at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha. Richard Browne (Jackson, Mississippi) and Roderick Townsend (Stockton, California) led the night with gold-medal performances for the United States.

Browne pulled away from the field in the men’s 100 T44 to smash the world record and cross the line in a time of 10.61. Browne bettered the previous record set by compatriot Jarryd Wallace at the 2015 Toronto Parapan American Games by one-tenth of a second. This is Browne’s second title and world record of the competition after winning gold in the 200.

“It was an absolutely amazing night,” Browne said. “Two world records and two gold medals to bring home to the USA feels incredible. Unfortunately, Jarryd and Johnnie weren’t here, but I can’t wait to race those guys next year, it’s kind of bittersweet with them not here. But, it’s still amazing and now I just have to bring that 4x100 relay home.”

Townsend was a man of confidence going into the men’s high jump T47 and it paid off. Townsend did not enter the competition until the bar hit 2-meters. From there he proceeded to take the world title and championship record of 2.03 with two attempts.

“It was a really long week so I decided to open pretty low for me, I usually open at 2.10,” Townsend said. “I was hoping to jump near my personal best but that’s what you hope every meet. This is my third medal of the meet but first world title so I’m really happy to have that weight off my shoulder. I learned so much from this competition, what to do and what not to do, so I’m really excited to put those things into play next season.”

Pre-competition injury didn’t stop Scot Severn (Caro, Michigan) from taking his shot at a world title. Bandaged up from fracturing his knee earlier in the week, Severn managed to give an outstanding performance of 8.14 to win a silver medal in the men’s shot put F53.

“I didn’t expect my competition to do quite as well as they did,” Severn said. “There were a lot of seconds of self-doubt [with my injury] but to be second is pretty great. Now it’s time to get stronger and ready for Rio.”

Chelsea McClammer (Richland, Washington) snagged her first world championship medal in Doha, winning a bronze medal in the women’s 5000 T54. McClammer was able to fend off fourth place finisher Madison deRozario of Australia by ten one-hundredths of a second to take the podium after finishing with a time of 12:11.54.

“It was a really close race,” McClammer said. “Everyone was in close quarters, bumping hands a bit but it was really fun and exciting. This whole meet has been really good preparation, I know exactly what I need to work on and exactly how hard I need to train to be on the top.”

Kym Crosby (Yuba City, California) won her second world championship medal with a bronze in the women’s 100 T13 after clocking in at 12.63. Crosby also earned a silver medal in the women’s 200 T13 two days earlier.

“I feel great,” Crosby said. “I’m ready to go for next year. I’ve learned so much being here and this just gets me fired up for Rio.”

In a close men’s 200 T11 final, David Brown (St. Louis, Missouri) and guide Jerome Avery (Lemoore, California) just missed the podium with a fourth place finish. Only nine one-hundredths of a second separated the pair from gaining their second world title in Doha after winning the men’s 100 T11 at the beginning of the competition.

Day 9

With just one day of competition left, Team USA took home three medals keeping a stronghold on the third place spot in the medal tally of the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships. Team USA now held 13 gold, 13 silver and ten bronze medals going into the final day of competition.

Deja Young (Mesquite, Texas) made a name for herself in Doha winning her second medal and first world title after dashing to the finish line in the women’s 100 T47. Young outdid second place finisher Yanping Wang from China by five one-hundredths of a second clocking in at 12.69 to take gold. Young took home a silver medal in the women’s 200 T47 just two days prior.

“I was not expecting that at all, I’m actually in shock,” Young said. “Going in as third and for me to get first is absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to hear our national anthem on the podium and see where Rio takes me.”

Jeff Skiba (San Diego, California) had a busy day in Doha after participating in back-to-back competitions. Skiba ended the evening working his way to a bronze medal in the men’s high jump F44 after clearing a height of 1.96. Skiba’s high jump podium performance came shortly after finishing the men’s javelin F44 where he took thirteenth place after recording a best mark of 45.52.

“It feels amazing to grab bronze,” said Skiba. “I had to battle for this one more than any other medal I’ve gotten including gold in Beijing. It’s awesome to represent the United States and I’m just ecstatic.”

Michael Brannigan (East Northport, New York) took home his second medal of the competition after winning silver in the men’s 5,000 T20. The field battled through hot and humid conditions, with Brannigan and Daisuke Nakagawa of Japan getting out to an early lead ahead of the field. While Brannigan led the early portions of the race, it was Nakagawa who pulled ahead to grab the win in 15:39.43. Brannigan finished as the runner-up in 15:50.99. This is Brannigan’s second medal of the championships after winning gold in the 1500.

“That race was fun,” Brannigan. “I’m very happy with how I ran and it was one of my best.”

Other notable performances of the night included Scout Bassett’s sixth place performance in the women’s 100 T42 (17.22) and Austin Handley’s eighth place finish in the men’s 1500 T38 (4:47.16).

Day 10

It was a successful run for Team USA at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships as they closed out competition in Doha, Qatar with 39 medals to finish as the third-ranked country in the overall medal count behind China and Russia, respectively. On the tenth and final day, the U.S. added three silver medals to take home a haul of 13 gold, 16 silver and ten bronze medals. 

In the men’s 4x100 meter relay, Team USA sprinters Trenton Merrill (San Juan Capistrano,California) , David Prince (Venice, Florida), Roderick Townsend (Stockton, California) and Richard Browne (Jackson, Mississippi) snagged a second place finish after a struggle in the exchange between Townsend and Browne in the last leg of the relay. The men recorded a season best of 42.91 but fell short to Germany who took the gold with a time of 41.86.

“It’s a little disheartening that we didn’t get the gold,” Browne. “But we can’t be disappointed with a silver. I take full responsibility for my team in getting second place but we’ll get them next year in Rio.”

Kerry Morgan (St. Louis, Missouri) grabbed up a silver in the women’s 400 T52 after finishing with a time of 1:12.55. This marks Morgan’s third silver medal in Doha after taking second in both the women’s 100 and 200 T52 races. 

“I feel tired but great,” said Morgan. “That race was pretty good. I fatigued a little at the end and was hoping to keep my pace but all in all it was an amazing championship and I’m going home with three medals. I definitely can’t complain.”

In a fitting fashion, Alexa Halko (Williamsburg, Virginia), who picked Team USA’s first medal in Doha, also took home a second place finish in the last race of the competition. Halko grabbed a silver medal in the women’s 400 T34 after clocking in with a time of 1:04.20.

“It went really well; I got a better start than I thought,” Halko said. “It let me move for the rest of the race so it was slightly easier to get going. Doha has been amazing. Just getting to compete against all of these incredible athletes from so many different countries and we’re all in the same race is just amazing.”

Other notable performances include Austin Pruitt’s (Spokane, Washington) eighth place finish in the 200 T34 with a time of 29.78 and Josh Roberts’ (Morris, Alabama) seventh place finish in the men’s 400 T52 with a time of 1:12.33. 

Over 100 countries and 1,300 athletes competed in Doha with the United States’ 81 athlete roster showcasing their young and veteran talent heading into the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in September. For daily recaps and photo galleries of Team USA from the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships, go to USParalympics.org.