Paralympic Games (Day 7 Women): Morgan Stickney Completes Rapid Rise to Gold; Mikaela Jenkins Crowned

morgan-stickney

Paralympic Games (Day 7 Women): Morgan Stickney Completes Rapid Rise to Gold; Mikaela Jenkins Crowned

It was another big day for the American women at the Paralympic Games, with Morgan Stickney and Jessica Long leading the way at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Stickney and Long captured gold and silver medals, respectively, in the S8 400-meter freestyle on Tuesday night. It was a breakthrough performance for Stickney, while Long collected the 25th medal of her spectacular Paralympic career.

Stickney turned in a time of 4:42.39, a little more than a second ahead of Long (4:43.41), who earlier in the competition won her fourth consecutive gold in the 200 individual medley. Stickney’s ascension to the top of the podium has been remarkable, as she has been a Para swimmer for just three years.

In 2018, Stickney had her left leg amputated below the knee following an injury to foot when she was 15. Stickney underwent numerous surgeries before the decision to amputate was made. Stickney then was found to have a rare vascular disease and had to have her right leg amputated in 2019. Through her medical travails, Stickney kept her sights on the Paralympics.

“Everything I’ve been through in the past few years kind of flashed before my eyes,” Stickney said. “I remember sitting in the hospital just dreaming of being able to go to the Paralympic Games, being able to be here and then to get the gold medal is just such an honor.”

The S10 100 butterfly saw the USA’s Mikaela Jenkins win gold in 1:07.52, a time that was fast enough to hold off Australian Jasmine Greenwood (1:07.89). Jenkins was the 2019 world champion in the event and claimed her first Paralympic medal.

“I’m still trying to find words to describe the feeling,” Jenkins said. “It’s a mixture of relief, pure joy and excitement. It’s crazy. I feel like this is something that doesn’t happen to a lot of people, and I am very thankful I was able to pull it out.”

The United States added a medal in the S7 100 freestyle as McKenzie Coan finished in second place to Italy’s Giulia Terzi. Coming off a gold medal in the 400 freestyle, Coan was timed in 1:10.22, with Terzi clocking a mark of 1:09.21. There was a tie for the bronze medal between the Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Mereshko and China’s Yuyan Jiang. Classified as S6 athletes, the Mereshko and Yuyan posted matching world-record times of 1:11.07.

Brazil’s Maria Carolina Gomes Santiago won the S12 100 freestyle in 59.01, narrowly edging Russia’s Daria Pikalova (59.13). In the SM14 200 individual medley, Russian Valeriia Shabalina topped the field, followed by the British tandem of Bethany Firth and Louise Fiddes. Spain’s Marta Fernandez Infante took gold in the SB3 50 breaststroke and New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe was the champion of the S8 100 freestyle.

Complete Results

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