Martin wins gold at IPC Athletics World Championships

By Annemarie Blanco | Oct. 26, 2015, 4:37 p.m. (ET)

Martin holds onto his world title in the men's 1500 T52 in Doha. 


DOHA - Raymond Martin (Jersey City, New Jersey) defended his world title in the 1500-meter as he led Team USA to win four medals on the fifth day of competition at the Qatar Sports Club.


Team USA is now third in the medal count with seven gold, seven silver and five bronze medals for 19 overall podium finishes.


Martin bolted to an early lead in the men’s 1500 T52, only dropping back to aid his teammate Steven Toyoji (San Francisco, California) in moving up into the second place position. While a 1-2 finish for Team USA looked imminent, a late sprint by Japanese teammates Ueyonabaru Hirokazu and Sato Tomoki bumped Toyoji back to fourth place. Ultimately Martin crossed the line in 3:49.41, while Toyoji finished less than three-tenths of a second off the podium. This is the second world title of the year for Martin, after winning the marathon championships in London in April.


“My race strategy was to attack in the middle of the race periodically, but it didn't work out like I wanted because the guy in second place finished within seconds of me,” Martin said. “I’m not sure about changing my strategy for the rest of my races, it’s pretty hot here and I was gasping there at the end, I’m just glad I had enough to come away with the gold.”


Roderick Townsend (Stockton, California) only needed two attempts to add his name to the record books. With his second jump of 14.49, Townsend set the American record and secured the silver medal in his world championships debut at the men's triple jump T47. Townsend finished behind Fuliang Liu of China,who twice improved the world record en route to his winning mark of 15.29.


“I just really wanted to go and get the cobwebs shaken out a bit,” Townsend said. “It was my first event of the competition, so just wanted to go out there, have a little fun and hopefully get on the podium.”


Kerri Morgan (St. Louis, Missouri)  finished the women’s 100 T52 with a season’s best of 20.97 to grab a second silver medal in Doha with Belgium's Marieke Vervoort taking the first place finish at 20.39. This is Morgan’s second medal of the championships after taking silver in the women’s T52 200 on Friday.


“The race went pretty well,” Morgan stated. “My acceleration was probably the best part of the race, my start wasn't bad but I wish it was a little quicker. But all in all it was a good race, I’m happy to get a medal and I still have the 400-meter left which is really my strength.”


Regas Woods (Ocala, Florida)  jumped to a bronze medal in the men’s T42 long jump after recording a mark of 5.56 on his second attempt to grab his first world championship medal in Doha.


“I’m excited about bringing a medal home for my country, team, hometown and most of all my kids,” Woods said. “I wasn’t going home empty handed, I had to bring home a medal. It was a big improvement from the last world championships when I came in dead last and this time around I’ve got bronze.”


Other top performances of the day included Ivonne Mosquera-Schmidt (New York, New York) finishing just shy of the podium with a fourth-place finish in the women’s 1500 T11 final and Shirley Reilly (Tucson, Arizona) and Chelsea McClammer (Richland, Washington) advancing to the final of the women’s 800 T53.


Competition resumes Tuesday, Oct. 26 and continues through Saturday, Oct. 31. Head over to USParalympics.org for results, a free live stream of the competition and the best photos of Team USA. Follow @USParalympics on Twitter for live updates, medal counts and much more.