Romanchuk takes bronze in marathon as Tokyo Paralympics come to a close
by Kristen Gowdy
TOKYO – Daniel Romanchuk (Mount Airy, Maryland) earned his second medal of the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 on the final day of competition, taking bronze in the men’s marathon T54 in 1:29.05. Earlier in the track and field competition, Romanchuk took gold in his 400m race for his first career Paralympic medal. Romanchuk becomes the first American man to medal in a wheelchair classification in the marathon since Patrick Cottini in 1996.
In a race that saw wet and rainy conditions throughout, Switzerland’s Marcel Hug and China’s Yong Zhang pulled away from the main pack early. Romanchuk battled for most of the marathon with a group of racers that included American teammate Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Minnesota), who ended up finishing the race in sixth place in 1:29.45. It was only after the 40-kilometer mark that Romanchuk made his move, pulling ahead of the pack and eventually beating out fourth-place finisher Brent Lakatos of Canada by 13 seconds. The final American in the men’s race, Brian Siemann (Champaign, Illinois) took 15th place with a time of 1:44.42.
On the women’s side, Tokyo medalists Tatyana McFadden (Baltimore, Maryland) and Susannah Scaroni (Tekoa, Washington) led the way for Team USA in fifth and sixth place, respectively. McFadden and Scaroni have both had a successful Games, sharing the podium twice in the women’s 800m and 5000 meter races. McFadden was also part of the 4x100 mixed relay team that took gold in world record fashion on Friday night, bringing her all-time medal total to 20.
American Jenna Fesemyer (Ravenna, Ohio) took 11th in her Paralympic debut, finishing in 1:50.06, while Amanda McGrory (Savoy, Illinois) finished with a 15th-place result in 1:57.11. The marathon concludes McGrory’s fourth Paralympic Games, in which she has collected seven career medals, and Fesemyer’s Paralympic debut.
The Paralympics wrap tonight with the Closing Ceremony, set to broadcast live from Tokyo at 8 p.m. JST (7 a.m. EST) on NBCSN and NBCOlympics.com.
For media inquiries, please contact Kristen Gowdy at Kristen.Gowdy@usopc.org.
TEAM USA MEDALS (Day 10)
- Daniel Romanchuk (men’s marathon T54)
I’m very thankful for the opportunity to be here and represent the U.S. and thankful for everyone who helped me get to where I am. It’s been an interesting two years and I’m very happy with everything.
The T54 category is so competitive. You could run a race five times and get three or four different finishes. My strategy was kind of similar to what I was thinking a couple of years ago in Boston, just that the first part of the course is downhill and the second part is uphill. I was just trying to stay calm until those uphills and then capitalize on my strengths.
The visibility was pretty hard, and I definitely slipped a bit, which was difficult. I’m really proud of myself though, to come home 20 medals overall in my career so far. I got one of each color here, and that’s all you can ask for. It’s really nice that these Games could’ve been pulled off. This our third track meet and our first marathon in two years. That’s a really long time not to run a marathon, so I’m happy I started and finished the race, that’s always an accomplishment in the marathon.
I’ll be back and ready to start getting ready for Paris. I’m happy with my results here, I podiumed. Even making the U.S. team is an accomplishment, it’s really hard to do, we’re a really competitive country in track and field but also sports in general. I’m really happy to be walking away with three medals.
For full results from Tokyo 2020, please visit Paralympic.org.
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