TaLeah Williams wins gold as U.S. athletes collect six medals on final day in London.
Team USA wins 59 medals overall (20 gold, 19 silver, 20 bronze) in most successful performance at a World Para Athletics Championships.
LONDON - After 10 days of action, Team USA closed the book on its most successful world championships in history, capturing 59 medals overall, including 20 gold, 19 silver and 20 bronze, to finish second in the overall medal count behind China. The U.S. finished the night with six medals, highlighted by the first world title for TaLeah Williams (Norfolk, Nebraska) in her world championships debut.
Williams had the busiest morning of anyone at London Olympic Stadium. The 20-year-old’s first events in London came on the final day of competition, beginning with the women’s T47 long jump. After sitting in the second spot, her fifth jump of 5.27-meters moved Williams into the gold-medal position before having to leave for her 400 run just a few minutes later. It was at the start line that Williams discovered she held off her competitors in the long jump to capture her first world title. Her run was later disqualified, but she still took away a medal in her world championship debut.
Mikey Brannigan (East Northport, New Jersey) also had a grueling turnaround in London, having to recover from his 800 race last night to run the 5,000 this morning. The Paralympic champion crossed the finish line in 14:39.87 to win the silver medal, adding to his two golds won earlier in the competition and fulfilling an incredible feat of medaling in three middle- and long-distance races at a world championships.
After coming in last place in the women’s T42 long jump at the 2016 Paralympics, Scout Bassett (Laguna Niguel, California) showed strength in the event as she came away with her second bronze of the championships, marking the first two world medals of her career. Her leap of 3.45 on her fifth attempt was enough to seal the hardware.
In one of the most exciting races of the night, Chelsea McClammer (Richland, Washington) edged the fourth-place finisher from Turkey by one hundredth of a second in the women’s T53 800 to steal her third medal of the championships. McClammer finished in 1:55.01.
Fittingly, the final race of the world championships also finished in thrilling fashion as six hundredths of a second separated the top three finishers in the women’s T54 100. Team USA’s Cheri Madsen (Union, Nebraska) pulled away with the silver in a time of 16.64, while Hannah McFadden (Clarksville, Maryland) captured bronze in 16.68. This was the third medal in London for Madsen and the second for McFadden.
Other top-10 finishes:
Kaitlyn Bounds (Russellville, Arkansas): women’s T20 800, 4th
Marshall Zackery (Ocala, Florida): men’s T35 100, 5th
Femita Ayanbeku (Whitman, Massachusetts): women’s 44 200, 5th
Kelsey LeFevour (Chicago, Illinois): women's T53 100, 6th
Brian Siemann (Millstone, New Jersey): men’s T53 100, 6th
Ayden Jent (Indianapolis, Indiana): men’s T35 100, 7th
Josh Cinnamo (Lakeville, Minnesota): men’s F46 discus, 10th
Brian Siemann (Millstone, New Jersey): men’s T54 5,000, 10th
“It was awesome. I was trying my hardest to not start crying [when I was at the start line for the 400]. It was honestly such a surprise. I knew I could do it but it was just crazy how it happened. I wanted to start crying but I told myself that I had to focus on the 400 and once I finished, I was too tired to actually cry.”
“I feel good. My legs were pretty tired from last night’s race but I kept pushing though. I trusted my plan and ran my own race so I’m happy. It’s great just to perform and accomplish my dreams with Team USA.”
“I finished last in the long jump in Rio so to come here today and finish third is such a dream come true for me. It’s a testament to all the hard work. I’ve really put a lot of work into the long jump this offseason and I’m just so thrilled to win another medal for my country. I didn’t know if I was even going to win one here so to win two is incredible. I couldn’t be more proud to be an American.”