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Tokyo Paralympics: Clarksville native Tatyana McFadden wins bronze in 5,000-meter race, her 18th Paralympic medal

The United States' Susannah Scaroni, right, celebrates after winning the women's 5,000-meter T54 final with third-place teammate Tatyana McFadden during the 2020 Paralympics at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Aug. 28, 2021.
The United States' Susannah Scaroni, right, celebrates after winning the women's 5,000-meter T54 final with third-place teammate Tatyana McFadden during the 2020 Paralympics at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Aug. 28, 2021. (Kiichiro Sato/AP)

Paralympian Tatyana McFadden added another prize to her growing collection Friday night.

The Clarksville native and Atholton High School graduate claimed the bronze in the women’s 5,000-meter T54 wheelchair race in Tokyo, the 18th Paralympic medal of her decorated career.

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McFadden, who won four gold medals at the last summer games in Rio in 2016, finished third with a time of 11:15.37. United States teammate Susannah Scaroni won gold with a Paralympic-record time of 10:52.57, while Switzerland’s Manuela Schaer claimed silver in 11:00.50.

“I am so proud of myself as well as my teammate,” tweeted the Russian-born McFadden, who suffers from spina bifida, a rare birth defect that incapacitates the spine and has left her without the use of her legs. “The race was text book! We both took huge risks and it worked out! This one’s for equality, our country and for the movement.”

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McFadden, who made her Paralympics debut in Athens in 2004 and has won seven gold medals, is looking to win at least five more medals in Tokyo to overtake Canadian legend Chantal Petitclerc as the most decorated Paralympic female track and field athlete.

“I have beaten Tatyana McFadden few times in the past few years, but never at the Paralympics, and that is when people bring out everything they have,” Scaroni said after the race. “I’m so proud of her. We know each other’s strengths.”

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