TOKYO 2020 PARALYMPICS RECAP: DAY ELEVEN

TOKYO, Japan — The 11th and penultimate day of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics has been one filled with bronze and silver for Team USA. Today in store we’ve got: Nick Mayhugh steadily becoming a legend of the track, a victory for the U.S. women’s wheelchair basketball team and a series of long-awaited (and short-awaited) podium dreams achieved.

Starting with today’s canoe sprint, Steven “Blake” Haxton won silver in the men’s Va’a single 200m – VL2 Final A. He had placed fourth in the PR1 single sculls at Rio 2016, and finally got his day in the sun this morning, despite the clouds hanging over Tokyo. Kaitlyn Verfuerth finished fifth in the women’s kayak single 200m KL2 Final B.

Evan Medell won bronze in men’s Taekwondo K44 + 75kg in his match against Costa Rica’s Andres Esteban Molina Gomez 13-11, making him the first Team USA athlete to medal in the brand new Paralympic sport. Medell had won his quarterfinal match against Libya’s Mohamed Abidar with a final score of 22-19, but had lost the semifinal to Croatia’s Ivan Mikulic 9-28. 

U.S. women’s wheelchair basketball team posing for a team photo after their bronze medal match on Sept. 4, 2021. (PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Clubine)

On the court, the U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team won the Bronze Medal against Germany 64-51, led by Lindsey Zurbrugg with 22 points. For a young team like the U.S. with nine rookies, this result is a huge step for their growth.

“I’m really happy to have ended with such a great game today,” said Zurbrugg.

In archery, U.S. team Emma Ravish Rose and Eric Bennett lost to Russian Paralympic Committee team Margarita Sidorenko and Kirill Smirnov with final set points of 2-6.

There’s always news on the track, and the name that keeps coming up on the jumbotron is Nick Mayhugh. He won gold in the men’s 200m T37, breaking the world record he’d set the previous day with a time of 21.91. Not only was his third gold medal, but he’d also won silver in the men’s 400 T37 and broke three world records– all at his Paralympic debut.

Nick Mayhugh USA after winning the Gold Medal in the Men’s 200m T37 Athletics Final in the Olympic Stadium. Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Tokyo, Japan, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. Photo: OIS/Thomas Lovelock. Handout image supplied by OIS/IOC

“The first thing I’ll ask is, ‘What’s next?’ Let’s go make some more history!” Mayhugh told Team USA officials about he plans on doing after he goes home and gets some rest.

In the women’s 200m T47, Brittni Mason won silver with a personal best time of 25.00 as Lisbeli Marina Vera Andrade of Venezuela won the gold. This was Mason’s third medal at her first Paralympic games. In the same race, Deja Young placed fifth with a time of 25.53.

“Amazing athlete, definitely had me on my toes, definitely pushed me to be my best at this games and that’s all you can ask for. You know, it’s not really fun if you guys don’t push each other from different countries and have that competition to have an exciting race,” said Mason about fellow competitor and champion vera Andrade.

Alexa Halko ran her season-best to earn bronze in the women’s 800m T33 with a time of 2:02.2, and Eva Houston placed sixth in the same race with a time of 2:21.21.

Another bronze, this time for Isaac Jean-Paul in the men’s long jump T13 on his sixth attempt with a distance of 6.93 meters. He achieved his medal on the last track and field day of his first Paralympic games.

Once again, it’s bronze– this one earned by Kym Crosby in the women’s 400m T13 with a time of 58.06, her personal best. In the same race, Erin Kerkhoff placed ninth with a personal best time of 58.06. 

In the men’s 200m T64, Jarryd Wallace won the– you guessed it– bronze medal at his first Paralympic medal after competing at three Paralympics. He earned it with a season-best time of 22.09.

“Third games, the podium having eluded me on my prior two. . . to be able to have competed [and] placed bronze against the strongest amputee field in the history of Paralympic sport is… it’s amazing,” said Wallace.

Jonathan Gore got fourth place with a time of 22.66 in the same race.

“I’m feeling really good. I didn’t have the start that I wanted, but I executed it well. . . thank you to everybody that supported me,” said Gore.

Also in athletics, we had Marshall Zachary placing sixth in the men’s 200m T35 with a time of 27.73the men’s 400m T47, while Tanner Wright placed fourth with a time of 49.36. And lastly, Noella Lambert came in sixth place in the women’s 100m T63.

Before we close out today’s recap, big news on the closing ceremony– two-time Paralympic medalist and wheelchair basketball player Matt Scott has been selected as the flag bearer who will lead Team USA into the Tokyo Stadium tomorrow night, Sunday, Sept. 5.

“I’m overflowing with gratitude. It’s an indescribable privilege to carry the flag that will lead myself, my team and the rest of our delegation,” he told Team USA officials.

That’s all for today, we’ll see you again tomorrow for the final day of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics!

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