U.S. wins first ever medal in mix doubles sculls

By Allison Fredrick | Sept. 02, 2012, 9:52 a.m. (ET)

ETON DORNEY — The U.S. trunk and arms mixed double sculls crew of Rob Jones (Lovettsville, Va.) and Oksana Masters (Louisville, Ky.) won bronze Sunday at the London 2012 Paralympic Games in Eton Dorney, outside London. It is the first Paralympic medal in the trunk and arms mixed double sculls event for Team USA.

"I promised not to cry," Masters said. "I feel pretty amazing. Oh my God I thought we came fourth, I had no idea. I am speechless, this is unreal. We have been together less than a year."

China won gold in 3:57.63, with France taking silver in 4:03.06. The U.S. crew was in sixth place at the start, but worked it's way through the field, crossing the line in 4:05.56 to edge out Great Britain by 0.21 seconds.

"My body hurts," Jones said. "I couldn't really tell where we were at the end. We just sprinted and pulled out everything we had. We just couldn't quite catch France. I knew we were pretty close in the last 600 meters. I knew that was the time to empty the bank account of all the work we have been doing over the last year to get the bronze. Thankfully that was enough."

Jones is a U.S. Marine Sergeant who became a bilateral above knee amputee in July of 2010 while serving in Afghanistan. Masters, also a bilateral above-knee amputee, was adopted from the Ukraine at the age of seven.