(L-R) Deja Young and Roderick Townsend celebrate gold medals at the World Para Athletics Championships on Nov. 13, 2019 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Roderick Townsend (Stockton, California) and Deja Young (Mesquite, Texas) sprinted and soared to the top of the podium as they defended their world titles at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships at the Dubai Club for People of Determination.
Queen of the 200 – Young protected her world title in the women’s 200-meter T47, sprinting down the track in a time of 24.47 en route to a new championship record. Wednesday’s gold medal joins her silver medal from the 100 T47 from Tuesday evening, a race that marked her first defeat in Paralympic competition since 2015. Young concludes competition Thursday with the 4x100 universal relay.
Defending his crown – Townsend stood atop the podium in the men’s high jump T47, winning the event with a jump of 2.03. Townsend, who is overcoming a back injury, entered the competition at 2.03 and successfully defended his title with one attempt. He additionally returns home with the silver medal in the men’s long jump T47.
Bronze medal No. 2 – Susannah Scaroni (Champaign, Illinois) earned the second world championships medal of her career and of the 2019 campaign on Wednesday, racing to the bronze medal in the women’s 5,000 T54 in a time of 12:15.57. Her first medal from the 2019 world championships was bronze in the women’s 800 T54.
Team USA Results from Nov. 13
3 medals: 2 golds, 1 bronze
Gold: Roderick Townsend (Stockton, Calif.), men’s high jump T46 (2.03); Deja Young (Mesquite, Texas), women’s 200 T46 (24.47)
Bronze: Susannah Scaroni (Champaign, Ill.), women’s 5,000 T54 (12:15.57)
Full results can be found on the World Para Athletics Championships website.
“I’m really pleased not just in the race tonight, but in overcoming myself (from Tuesday’s silver medal). It was really hard for me yesterday. It took me a long time to get out of that. The tears kept coming and I was really upset. This sport is growing so much and women need to stick together, and that’s just something I’m thriving off of right now.
“I had an execution plan and I’ve been training really hard. I’m feeling confident in my training for the next year. I have a lot of fire in me. It’s going to be really competitive. I’ve needed that push. Tokyo is going to be amazing.”
“My back acts up from time to time. It’s not detrimental, it’s just very discomforting. I knew I had one jump in me, so I didn’t do any warm up jumps in the competition. I got worked on - we have a great group of therapists here, and they helped work me out to the best of their ability, so I’m happy that they were able to at least make this possible, and this is a big deal. I didn’t want to relinquish the throne.
“I didn’t think I was putting myself in harm's way. I knew that I could have one jump today. I put it all on the line, trusted the process, trusted God...I’m extremely happy that it was able to work out that benefitted not just me but the entire country.”
“I was boxed in with three laps to go. Chelsea [McClammer] let me out so I could get into the outside and I held my position to try and keep the others back and stay in that third position and was able to hold it for a couple laps. I owe that to Chelsea.
“I feel really good. These are my first medals at a worlds. I feel this was a good way to analyze what I need to work on before Tokyo. My takeaways are working on a sprint finish at the end and higher top speed. We have a really strong country, so I think whoever makes it into any of these events, you have to have a good sprint finish because everyone is really strong.”
On the penultimate day of competition on Thursday in Dubai, Mikey Brannigan (East Northport, New York), Jeremy Campbell (Perryton, Texas) and Sam Grewe (Middlebury, Indiana) will strive to defend their world titles in the 1500, discus and high jump, respectively.
How to Watch
Team USA fans can catch all the action of the World Para Athletics Championships on the Olympic Channel. Every evening session will be aired on Olympic Channel, while fans can stream morning sessions at OlympicChannel.com. The full schedule can be found on OlympicChannel.com.