Joe Berenyi is a three-time Paralympian in Para-cycling. (Photo: Casey B. Gibson/USOPC)
TOKYO - On the penultimate day of track cycling, Team USA entered Friday looking to race well on the track before the final day of competition at the Izu Velodrome. With three racers in contention, Team USA narrowly missed the top ten in each event. The U.S. compiled two 11th place finishes and one 12th place before the Americans race the team sprint tomorrow.
Chris Murphy(Rancho Cucamonga, California) led off the day in the 4000m individual pursuit MC5 earning a time of 4:55.467 and securing an 11th place finish in a field of specialists for the race.
Veteran riderJoe Berenyi(Aurora, Illinois) earned an 11th place finish in the 1000m time trial MC1-3 with a time of 1:09.582 - the first time he’s raced the event since the world championships in 2020. TeammateAaron Keith(Woodinville, Washington) finished directly behind him with a time of 1:10.732. Both riders faced a tough field that saw all three classification’s world records fall.
Clara Brown(Falmouth, Maine) withdrew from this morning’s 500m time trial WC3. She’ll hit the road course when cycling switches gears to the road race at Fuji Speedway on August 31.
Murphy, Berenyi and Keith will race the team sprint tomorrow at 10:32 a.m. JST. Murphy and Berenyi helped Team USA earn a bronze medal in the event at the 2020 Para-cycling World Championships in Milton, Ontario.
The team sprint is my favorite race. There’s nothing like racing with your teammates. Most of our stuff is on our own, but the team sprint obviously is a team effort. It’s just special. Looking at the lineups, I think we’re an outside shot at a medal but still have a shot. There’s no sense in beating ourselves up today, and who knows what tomorrow will bring.
That was a big effort - different from yesterday. I’m more of an endurance guy, so this was a sprint for me. I’m happy with my fitness, and I love the team events. Anytime I can try to help a teammate get a medal, I’m super excited about it. Hopefully we can pull off a medal.
It’s exciting to be at my third Paralympics. It was worth the wait, even though it was an extra year. I’m happy to be here, and of course it’s not the same as the other two, but everyone is doing the best they can. Everyone here has been a class act.
It’s [team sprint] my favorite event. Our events are so individual that it’s fun to do something with a team. We rely on each other, and the event brings out the best in everyone.
Check out the results from the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Tune into NBCSN, NBCOlympics.com and the NBC App for coverage of Para-cycling at the Paralympic Games.
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