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Tokyo Paralympics: Mount Airy’s Daniel Romanchuk wins bronze in marathon; Clarksville’s Tatyana McFadden takes gold in debut event

Team USA's Daniel Romanchuk took bronze in the men's marathon Saturday at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Team USA's Daniel Romanchuk took bronze in the men's marathon Saturday at the Tokyo Paralympics. (Mark Reis/Mark Reis)

Mount Airy resident Daniel Romanchuk earned his second medal of the Tokyo Paralympics on Saturday with a bronze in the T54 men’s marathon.

Romanchuk finished in a season-best 1:29:53. This was his fifth event at the Paralympics; he also earned gold in the T54 400-meter race Aug. 29 and competed in the T54 800-meter (fourth), 1,500-meter (fifth), and 5,000-meter (fourth) races.

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“I’m just very thankful to God for the opportunity to be here and to represent the US. I’m thankful to everyone who has helped me get to where I am. It’s been an interesting almost two years to this point, but I’m very happy with everything,” said Romanchuk, who was born with spina bifida.

Romanchuk, 23, said he will return to the Paralympics in Paris in 2024.

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“We’ll see. The T54 category is just so competitive. You could run a race five times and you’d get three or four different results,” he said. “I certainly think I will be in Paris, yes. I’m looking forward to hopefully being there.”

Manuela Schaer of Switzerland, right, and Tatyana McFadden of the United States, center, compete in the women's 1500-meter T54 final during the Tokyo Paralympics on Aug. 31.
Manuela Schaer of Switzerland, right, and Tatyana McFadden of the United States, center, compete in the women's 1500-meter T54 final during the Tokyo Paralympics on Aug. 31. (Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

McFadden wins gold in debut event

Clarksville native and Atholton High graduate Tatyana McFadden won her first gold of the Tokyo Paralympics by helping the United States win the debut of the mixed 4x100-meter universal relay on Friday.

Noah Malone (T12 classification), Brittni Mason (T46), Nick Mayhugh (T37) and McFadden (T54) combined to set a world record of 45.52.

“What a way to end my track events here @Tokyo2020,” tweeted McFadden. “Thank you to the magic 4 for an incredible night that I will always remember and for helping me make this my 20th medal, 8th gold, and 3rd world record.”

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The event featured two men and two women, in any order, with the following classification order: visual impairment (T11-13), limb impairment (T42-47 or T61-64), coordination impairment (T35-38), and a wheelchair racer (T33-34 or T51-54).

McFadden placed fifth in the marathon Saturday, ending her Games with 20 career Paralympic medals. She won silver in the T54 800-meter race, but missed the podium in her one of her best events, the 1,500, finishing fifth.

“I was so happy I was considered for the relay, and I knew that this was the group to be in it,” McFadden said. “I was manifesting it earlier that this was going to be it, and when practicing I knew it in my heart. We got out really fast, we transitioned really well. There’s no one I’d rather have than these three others with me. They’ve worked so hard to get here and trained so hard. I’m just honored after yesterday’s race that I put it all together mentally and stayed focused for the team and our country.”

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