RIO DE JANEIRO — It was a golden night on the track for the U.S. on Sunday as the team had its most successful performance of the competition thus far, bringing in seven medals, including three gold. Team USA matched the number of medals won thus far, bringing their total to 14 on the fourth night at Olympic Stadium.
In one of the marquee matchups of the night, reigning world champion and world record holder David Brown (St. Louis, Missouri) with guide Jerome Avery (Lemoore, California) defeated Brazil’s Felipe Gomes and guide Jonas de Lima Silva of Brazil in the men’s 100-meter T11 in front of their home crowd. The crown is the first for Brown and Avery who have been seeking Paralympic gold since they teamed up two years ago.
“It goes all the way back to eight years ago when I was in Beijing watching Jerome run alongside Josiah [Jamison]; to six years ago when I just met Jerome and coach [Joaquim] Cruz; to four years ago when I was running with a different guide and came up short; to two years ago pairing with Jerome,” Brown said. “All of these memories are coming back to me and make me think that God really had a plan. It was all for this moment and there’s more moments to come.”
Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Maryland) returned to the top of the podium after winning her second-consecutive Paralympic gold in the women’s 400 T54 with a time of 53.30 seconds. She was joined by fellow American Cheri Becerra-Madsen (Union, Nebraska) who after a 16-year hiatus from the Games, returned stronger than ever to secure silver in 54.50.
On a day of remembrance of the 15-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, McFadden dedicated her win to the victims, families and first responders.
"Today I won with my heart,” McFadden said. “I ran for America. It's September 11 so I ran for the folks back at home; thoughts and prayers for those affected. I honor my country today with a gold medal.”
Defending world champion Deja Young (Mesquite, Texas) proved why she is the best in the world in the women’s 100 T47, pulling away from the field to capture her first Paralympic title with a time of 12.15 seconds. Hearing the Star Spangled Banner from McFadden’s medal ceremony resonated deeply with Young on this significant day as they shared similar sentiments.
“What really got me was hearing the national anthem before I ran It’s 9/11 and a really important day for us [as a country],” Young said. “I just wanted to be able to hear that national anthem again with me on the podium. It just means a lot to be able to honor those who lost their lives today.”
In her Paralympic debut, Kym Crosby (Yuba City, California) clocked a personal best time of 12.24 seconds in the women’s 100 T13 to bring home bronze. Ukraine’s Leilia Adzhametova posted a world record to take the win in 11.79.
“It means more than words that I get to represent my country and do—in my opinion—one of the best sports,” Crosby said. “Even carrying this flag just made it all so real.”
Crosby won her first Paralympic medal in thrilling fashion, edging Olena Gliebova of Ukraine by four-hundredths of a second. The 23-year-old, who won bronze in the event in her international debut with Team USA at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships, was overcome by emotion when reflecting on her journey to reach the Paralympic podium.
“I’ve put in so much work into this season and the last couple of seasons and it’s all starting to pay off,” exclaimed a teary-eyed Crosby. “I just feel so happy right now.”
Chelsea McClammer (Richland, Washington) rallied to capture a silver medal after she stormed past China’s Lisha Huang and Australia’s Angela Ballard in the final stretch of the women’s 400 T53, achieving a personal best in the process with a time of 55.13 seconds. Team USA’s Shirley Reilly (Tucson, Arizona) finished fifth.
In the women’s club throw F51, Cassie Mitchell (Atlanta, Georgia) came away with the bronze medal with a personal-best throw of 21.84 on her third attempt. U.S. teammates Rachael Morrison (Farmington Hills, Michigan) and Zena Cole (Toledo, Ohio) finished fifth and seventh, respectively.
Visit USParalympics.org/Rio2016 for more information on Team USA at the Paralympic Games, including athlete bios, schedule and live streaming. Follow the U.S. Paralympic team on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.