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INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
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Jarryd Wallace of the USA in action during the final of the mens 200m T44 at the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships.

Jarryd Jeffrey Wallace

Athletics

Wallace first broke onto the scene at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, when he won the men’s 100m T44 in 11.31 seconds, a time that would have been good enough to win gold at the 2011 World Championships.

Apart from the fast time, what made Wallace’s performance so spectacular was that it came just 17 months after his lower right leg had been amputated due to compartment syndrome.

Before his diagnosis, Wallace was an accomplished 800m runner and had been offered a scholarship to race for the University of Georgia.

He made his Paralympic debut at London 2012 finishing sixth in the men’s 400m T44; he also raced as part of the US team that was disqualified in the 4x100m T42-46 relay.

At the 2013 World Championships in Lyon, France, he came of age winning two gold medals and smashing three world records. For his achievements, he was named Male Para athlete of the Year by USA Track & Field.

On his way to gold in the 200m T44, the Athens-born native smashed the world record both in qualifying and in the final, lowering the time to 22.08.

Alongside teammates Jerome Singleton, Richard Browne and Blake Leeper, Wallace was part of the 4x100m T42-46 relay team that also won gold and smashed the world record in a blistering 40.73.

At the Parapan Am Games in 2015, Wallace made his mark once again, this time in the men’s 100m T44, where he smashed the world record previously held by Browne to take gold in Canada in a time of 10.71.

Browne had been absent from the Parapan Am Games due to the birth of his son, but the World Championships in Doha, Qatar, two months later promised to be a thriller.

However, shortly before the Championships began Wallace withdrew; Browne took the tape and the 100m crown, breaking Wallace’s world record in the process.

In 2016 Wallace was back and seemingly ready challenge the likes of Browne and Great Britain’s Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock for the top spot in Rio.

Throughout the year the American had been in superb form, consistently clocking under 11 seconds. However, at the Rio 2016 Paralympics he ran 11.16, one of his slowest times of the year, to finish fifth in the 100m T44 final. To add to his misery, Wallace and his teammates were disqualified from the men’s sprint relay.

Despite arriving at his second Paralympics as a strong favourite for 100m T44 gold, Wallace failed to medal.

However, the American was determined to put that disappointment behind him - and he did just that, sitting top of the 2017 world rankings in the 200m T44 for much of the year before claiming 200m T44 gold at London 2017 in 22.37. He also won bronze in the 100m T44 in 10.95.

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
T64, F64

Further personal information

Family
Wife Lea Babcock Wallace
Residence
Athens, GA, USA
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Higher education
Communications, Psychology - University of Georgia: Athens, GA, USA

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He had competed in athletics before his amputation, and began training with his prosthetic leg in 2011.
Why this sport?
Before his amputation he was a high school state champion over 800m and 1600m. After his amputation he looked online for the world records list for Para athletics, and called his parents into the room to tell them his name would soon be on the list.
Club / Team
Georgia Track Club: Atlanta, GA, USA
Name of coach
Ken Harnden [club]

General interest

Hobbies
Playing the guitar and piano, singing, wakeboarding, surfing, lake kayaking, tennis, golf. (Facebook page, 02 May 2017; teamusa.org, 01 Oct 2016; usmagazine.com, 15 Sep 2016)
Most influential person in career
His father, and University of Georgia [UGA] strength coach Josh Rucci. (paralympic.org, 23 Aug 2015)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Everyone has a story. In fact everyone has a great story. I have a platform to leave a legacy where I can say I made a difference." (paralympic.org, 31 Oct 2015)
Awards and honours
He was named the 2013 Male Para athlete of the Year by USA Track and Field [USATF]. (redandblack.com, 22 Dec 2013)

He was a member of the 4x100m relay team that was named the 2013 Paralympic Team of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee [USOC]. (onlineathens.com, 31 Oct 2013)

He received the 2012 Athletic Association Inspiration Award from the University of Georgia in the United States of America. (worldoncampus.com, 08 Aug 2012)
Other sports
At age 12 he competed at the wakeboarding national championships for his youth age group, finishing eighth. (usmagazine.com, 15 Sep 2016)
Famous relatives
His father Jeff began coaching the tennis team at the University of Georgia in 1986. His mother Sabina competed in athletics for the University of Georgia and was named in the All-Southeastern Conference team. (gloryinthegame.com, 2011)
Impairment
In 2007 he was diagnosed with compartment syndrome, a condition in which blood vessels and nerves are compressed, causing high pressure to build up in the muscles. Following several operations his right leg was amputated below the knee in June 2010. (gloryinthegame.com, 2011; onlineathens.com, 18 Aug 2010)
Other information
OTHER ACTIVITIES
In 2012 he founded the A Leg in Faith Foundation, to provide prosthetics for future Paralympic athletes. He has also worked as a volunteer assistant sprints coach at University of Georgia in Athens, GA, United States of America. (georgiadogs.com, 2016; LinkedIn profile, 30 Apr 2015; teamusa.org, 01 Oct 2016; usmagazine.com, 15 Sep 2016)

Results

Unit Date Rank
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 4x100 m T42-46 Final Round 2012-09-05 9999
Men's 400 m T44 Heat 2 2012-09-07 4
Men's 400 m T44 Final Round 2012-09-08 6
IPC Athletics World Championships (Lyon, France)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m T44 Semifinal 2 2013-07-20 1
Men's 200 m T44 Final 1 2013-07-21 1
Men's 100 m T44 Semifinal 1 2013-07-22 3
Men's 100 m T44 Final 1 2013-07-23 3
Men's 4x100 m T42-47 Final 1 2013-07-27 1
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m T44 Heat 2 2016-09-08 2
Men's 100 m T44 Final Round 2016-09-09 5
Men's 4x100 m T42-47 Final Round 2016-09-12 9999
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 100 m T44 Final 1 2017-07-16 3
Men's 100 m T44 Heat 2 2017-07-16 2
Men's 200 m T44 Heat 2 2017-07-21 3
Men's 200 m T44 Final 1 2017-07-22 1
Men's 4x100 m T42-47 Final 1 2017-07-23 9999