Amanda McGrory (USA) has won her second gold medal in three days at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships. Monday’s victory came as she defended her title in the women’s 800m (T53) in a Championship record time of 1:53.29.
“This is awesome,” said McGrory immediately following her thrilling, sprint to the finish win. “Having two gold medals in two events is more than I expected, especially in the 800m. I didn’t expect it to come down to a sprint at the end, but you can’t be disappointed with gold.”
Joining McGrory on the podium was teammate Jessica Galli who claimed bronze with a time of 1:57.88.
“I’m relieved to have this first medal around my neck,” said Galli. “Amanda was a dominant force out there, she definitely deserved to win gold and I’m really happy with bronze.”
Jerome Singleton led the Americans in the men’s 200m (T43/44) race, dramatically diving across the finish line to win a silver medal. Singleton earned a spot on the podium with a personal best time of 22.77.
“I’m very happy with my result today,” said Singleton. “You can’t complain about not winning a race when you improve your fastest time by a half second. I felt good out there and getting a personal best in this race sets me up well for the 100m.”
Also setting new personal records in this race were David Prince who finished in fifth with a time of 23.53 and Blake Leeper who finished sixth with a time of 23.65.
Before she got to Christchurch, Kerri Morgan had never won a medal at a major international competition. Now, she has two. Morgan picked up her second silver medal of the week as she raced to a second place finish in the women’s 200m (T52) with a personal best time of 38.82.
“So far, so good,” said Morgan. “It feels incredible to be a double medalist and with each race I’m gaining experience that’s going to help me as I look toward the 400m and 800m later this week.”
The Team USA throwers won one medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing and they’ve vowed to improve on that result here in Christchurch. Four-time Paralympian Scott Danberg is first to put the U.S. throwers on the board at these world championships as he won a bronze medal in the men’s discus (F40). A personal best throw of 36.18 meters put Danberg on the podium.
“This is my first medal at an international competition since 2007, so right now I am on cloud nine,” said Danberg. “Getting on the podium here is a huge confidence boost for me in the lead up to London. My hard work and experience are paying off, but there’s always room for improvement and I want to be dancing with gold and silver come 2012.”
Kristen Messer won her second bronze medal of the event, this time racing to a Championship record time of 22.99 in the women’s 100m (T33/34).
Also adding to the medal total was Paul Nitz who claimed bronze in the men’s 100m (T52) with a season’s best time of 18.19. Nitz won three consecutive Paralympic gold medals at this distance in 1992, 1996 and 2000, but he hasn’t competed internationally since the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.
Team USA has tallied 13 medals so far and is fourth overall in total medals won.