RIO DE JANEIRO — A seven-medal haul for Team USA included four trips to the top of the podium on Tuesday at Olympic Stadium as Tatyana McFadden (Clarksville, Maryland), Ray Martin (Jersey City, New Jersey), Mikey Brannigan (Northport, New York) and Breanna Clark (Los Angeles, California) won gold on the sixth day of competition.
It was a “Mc-sweep” in the women’s 1500 T54 as McFadden, Amanda McGrory (Savoy, Illinois) and Chelsea McClammer (Richland, Washington) combined for gold, silver and bronze, respectively, for Team USA. McFadden decisively took the lead from the start to finish in a Paralympic record time of 3:22.50 with McGrory (3:22.61) and McClammer (3:22.67) locked in behind her.
“We went into this morning with a pretty good plan and decided we were going to go for it,” McGrory said. “We raced together, we raced smart and we pulled it off.”
This was the first U.S. sweep at Olympic Stadium, as McFadden picked up her 13th career Paralympic medal in track & field.
“It’s amazing,” McFadden said. “It’s the first time, I think, in history or in a long, long time since we’ve gotten an American sweep in the 1500 and it happens to be the girls, so it’s really cool.”
Jersey boys Martin and Gianfranco Iannotta (Garfield, New Jersey), who grew up and trained together for more than 10 years, were side-by-side on the podium once again in the men’s 400 T52. Martin was motivated for gold after finishing with silver to Iannotta who won his first Paralympic title in the men’s 100 T52. Martin clocked a 58.42 as Iannotta secured bronze in 1:02.16.
The highly-anticipated Paralympic debut for Brannigan lived up to the hype as the 19-year-old captured a convincing gold medal in the men’s 1500 T20 with a time of 3:51.74.
“I did what I had to do to represent Team USA and leave it all on the track in Rio,” Brannigan said.
The defending champion dueled with Portugal’s Cristiano Pereira for the first two laps before building his lead and running in a race of his own for the final 300 meters.
“That was what I was going for,” he said. “I am pumped for this. This is my last race of the season. I had a long track season and I can't wait to set some new goals next year. I look forward to 2020 in Tokyo."
Clark made a name for herself in the women’s T20 field, nearly setting a world record at her first Paralympic Games in the 400. Clark crossed the finish line in 57.79, just one-hundredth off the world mark.
Like mother, like daughter, talent and success on the Games stage runs in the family. Clark’s mother Rosalyn represented Team USA at the 1976 Olympic Games, winning a silver medal with the 4x400 meter relay.
“I wanted to keep the family legacy alive and I am so very happy that I won the gold medal,” she said.
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.