Nick Mayhugh celebrates at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 27, 2021 in Tokyo.
TOKYO — Day one of track and field at Tokyo Stadium finished with some early hardware for Team USA.
The U.S. men put down serious times on the track as early as prelims on Friday morning. The first-time Paralympian, 25-year-old Nick Mayhugh, set a world record and a new Paralympic record in the 100m T37 before the evening finals with a time of 10.97.
"I honestly didn't feel like I ran my two best races," Mayhugh said about his early morning runs. "I know there's a lot more left in the tank, so I'm just excited to run again."
Later in finals, the Fairfax, Virginia beat everyone and his record from earlier that morning in an impressive 10.95.
New to Para track — starting less than two years ago — Mayhugh said this win means everything to him. "It's changed my life," he said. "It's everything I've worked for in the last year, and a half came down to today and this competition. I finally feel like I've proved myself in the world of track and field.
"When I initially got here, no one knew my name, and now when I leave, everybody will know my name."
Mayhugh is not new to Para sports, having played Para 7-a-side football at the international level and was part of the U.S. team that won bronze at the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru. It was there where he inquired about joining the track team.
"Football is my first love. It's second nature to me, so to try to learn this entire sport in a year and a half is completely insane," he said. "But I'm here now. And I know I can still run a lot faster and be a lot better, so I'm just excited for that opportunity. I'm going to be here as long as the sport will have me."