Rowing, Nordic skiing and now cycling! Oksana Masters shows she can turn her hand to anything as Team USA star wins gold in women’s time trial for her NINTH career Paralympics medal – but long jump star Roderick Townsend has to settle for silver
Oksana Masters became the latest star to shine bright for Team USA as she dominated the women’s hand cycling time trial to take gold.
The 32-year-old Ukrainian-born American has previously won medals for rowing as well as Nordic Skiing at the Winter Games.
But having picked up a skill for hand cycling Masters, who was born with one kidney, a partial stomach, six toes on each foot and webbed fingers on each thumbless hand, finished one minute and 46 seconds ahead of anyone else to claim Team USA’s 20th gold medal of these Games.
Oksana Masters, 32, dominated the field to win gold in the hand cycling women’s time trial
Reduced to tears on the podium, Masters can celebrate her ninth Paralympics career medal
It takes Masters personal career medal total to nine, this being her third gold medal, but the focus is more on legacy than the number of medals.
‘It’s not about the medals,’ she said, as per ESPN.
‘It’s not about anything else except leaving a legacy, being one example for that young girl to see.’
Masters was put up for adoption as a young child with her disabilities linked to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster three years before she was born.
Her story saw her grow up in three different orphanages before Gay Masters, a single American woman, adopted her aged seven and brought her to the United States.
The Ukrainian-born American previously competed in Nordic skiing at the Winter Games
Masters (centre) finished more than a minute clear of any of her cycling competitors in Japan
Masters is a double amputee who competes in the H5 division of cycling events.
The H stands for hand-cyclists and athletes competing in that division use bikes that have been designed to be used in a kneeling or sitting position.
The time trial won by Masters was an 8km course held inside the Fuji International Speedway complex.
Masters finished with a time of 45:40:05 to win by a landslide. China’s Sun Bianbian took silver while Holland’s Jennette Jansen claimed bronze.
Back on track there was more medal success for Team USA as Roderick Townsend won silver in the men’s T47 long jump.
Townsend, the Paralympic record holder in this event heading to Tokyo, was rocked when Cuba’s Robiel Yankiel Sol Cervantes obliterated that record with a jump of 7.46m.
There was a silver medal for Roderick Townsend as he jumped a new personal best in Tokyo
That jump proved enough for gold and for the new Paralympic record.
But Townsend, 29, leaped an impressive 7.43 on his final attempt to win silver and also set a new personal best.
‘We always say “last one, best one”,’ Townsend said, as per Team USA. ‘And my last one was my best one. It just wasn’t the best jump out of the competition, unfortunately.’
He added: ‘It didn’t go how I wanted it to after five years of training. To walk away with the silver medal does sting a bit.
‘Paris is not five years away. It’s right around the corner.
‘The chip on my shoulder just got a little bit bigger, and I just got a little bit hungrier.’
He was left disappointed not to win gold and said he is now ‘hungrier’ for success at Paris 2024