Tatyana McFadden

Tatyana McFadden wins New York City Marathon, makes more history

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NEW YORK — Tatyana McFadden captured the second-ever marathon Grand Slam, winning the New York City Marathon women’s wheelchair division on Sunday on top of her titles in Boston, London and Chicago earlier this year.

Who was the first athlete, able-bodied or wheelchair, to win four major marathons in one year? Also McFadden, who also won Boston, London, Chicago and New York City last year.

In the last 26 months, McFadden won three gold medals at the London 2012 Paralympics (giving her 10 career Paralympic medals), six gold medals at the 2013 IPC World Track and Field Championships, one cross-country skiing silver medal at the Sochi 2014 Paralympics and those eight major marathon titles.

“I cannot believe that I have won eight marathons in a row,” McFadden said. “This is absolutely incredible.”

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On Sunday, McFadden conquered a 23.2-mile route rather than the standard 26.2-mile course for her third New York title (she won her first in 2010). She finished in 1 hour, 42 minutes, 16 seconds in Central Park.

She won by 1:08, after falling out of her chair near the finish on a tight right turn.

“It was quite embarrassing,” McFadden said, “but I owned it at that moment, and I got back in and took one look behind me to make sure the girls didn’t catch me.”

The wheelchair start was moved from the Verrazano Bridge in Staten Island into Brooklyn due to high winds. Gusts of 40mph were expected. McFadden agreed with the decision to race 23.2 miles instead of 26.2.

“That was just a safety call,” McFadden said. “It was very, very windy. So in the race, you had to be smart. You had to be strategic. And you had to conserve, and you had to think about where your strength and weaknesses are throughout the entire race.”

New York Road Runners, which puts on the marathon, believes a shortened wheelchair race has happened before due to high winds, in 1995, but couldn’t confirm officially.

McFadden was born in Russia paralyzed from the waist down due to spina bifida and adopted from a St. Petersburg orphanage at age 6 by an American family.

She is 25 years old and next plans to race in the Oita International Wheelchair Marathon in Japan on Nov. 9. She hopes to make her fourth U.S. Paralympic team in 2016.

Australian Kurt Fearnley won the men’s 23.2-mile wheelchair race in 1:30:57 for his fifth title in New York.

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Six months to Tokyo Paralympics: Ten athletes to watch

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Ten Paralympic hopefuls to watch, six months out from the Tokyo Games Opening Ceremony on Aug. 25 …

Chuck Aoki (Rugby)
The U.S.’ top scorer, but still looking for a Paralympic title after bronze and silver medals in 2012 and 2016. Aoki’s father’s family is from Japan, immigrating to the U.S. in the early 1900s. His great-grandparents and grandparents were placed in World War II internment camps. Aoki switched from wheelchair basketball to rugby after seeing the 2005 Oscar-nominated documentary “Murderball.” He has been on the national team since 2009.

Shingo Kunieda (Tennis)
Japan is known for its tennis players (Naomi OsakaKei Nishikori), but Kunieda is by far the most accomplished. He owns a wheelchair record 23 Grand Slam singles titles, 21 Grand Slam doubles titles and three Paralympic gold medals. Japan earned 24 medals at the Rio Paralympics, but they were all silver or bronze.

Oksana Masters (Cycling)
Already a Paralympic rowing and Nordic skiing medalist, Masters bids for a second Games to add a road cycling medal to her haul. In Rio, she placed fourth in the road race and fifth in the time trial. At her last Paralympics in PyeongChang, Masters came back from a fractured right elbow to earn five medals, including two golds.

Evan Medell (Taekwondo)
The U.S. has a medal contender in taekwondo, which debuted as an Olympic medal sport in 2000 and is on the Paralympic program for the first time in Tokyo. Medell, a 22-year-old licensed diesel mechanic, is ranked No. 1 in the world in the K44 +75kg division after 2019 titles at the European and Parapan American Championships.

Morteza Mehrzad (Volleyball)
Iran dominates men’s sitting volleyball. None of its players were more noticeable in Rio than the 8-foot, 1-inch Mehrzad, who led the team in scoring in the gold-medal match. Mehrzad was also part of Iran’s 2018 World title team, a signal that he could return for another Paralympics in Tokyo.

Becca Meyers (Swimming)
Earned three golds and one silver in individual events at the Rio Games, plus broke three world records. Meyers followed that with medals across three different strokes (plus the individual medley) between the 2017 and 2019 World Championships. She has trained at both the North Baltimore Aquatic Club and the Nation’s Capital Swim Club, which produced Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky, respectively.

Becca Murray (Basketball)
The leading scorer on the U.S.’ Rio Paralympic champion team returned to the program in 2019 after two years away. Murray, who debuted at the Paralympics in 2008 at age 18 (and earned gold), looks to help the U.S. women bounce back from a 2018 World Championship sixth-place finish without her.

Daniel Romanchuk (Track and Field)
Eliminated in the heats of all his Rio Paralympic events as an 18-year-old. Now Romanchuk is a marathon superstar, winning the wheelchair division in Boston, Chicago, London and New York City in 2019. The University of Illinois product is expected to enter a range of distances in Tokyo, given he lowered 800m and 5000m world records on the track in his classification.

Allysa Seely (Triathlon)
Led a U.S. medals sweep in her classification in triathlon’s Paralympic debut in Rio. Followed with world championships medals in 2017 (silver), 2018 (gold in an undefeated season) and 2019 (silver).

Ben Thompson (Archery)
Upset the world No. 1 compound archer to win the world title in 2019. Ended the season with a No. 1 world ranking and Male Paralympic Athlete of the Year from the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. Thompson competed in recent years with sister-in-law Megan‘s name on his arrow wraps. Megan fought breast cancer for years before her death in November as he was en route to the Team USA Awards.

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2020 World Track Cycling Championships TV, live stream schedule

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The world track cycling championships offer an Olympic preview, live on NBC Sports Gold and also airing on Olympic Channel this week.

All five daily sessions, beginning Wednesday, stream live for NBC Sports Gold “Cycling Pass” subscribers. Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA airs same-day delayed TV broadcasts.

The U.S. contingent is led by Chloé Dygert, a world champion on the track and the road who is trying to make the Olympic team in both disciplines. Dygert already qualified for Tokyo by winning the world title in the road time trial in September.

On the track, Dygert swept individual and team pursuit titles in 2017 and 2018 but missed last year’s worlds after a May 2018 concussion. She was part of the 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medal team pursuit squad in Rio.

The U.S. has yet to win an Olympic women’s track cycling title. The individual pursuit is not on the Olympic program, but Dygert could anchor a potent team pursuit. The U.S. finished seventh without Dygert and the late Kelly Catlin at the 2019 Worlds.

The international field is led by married British couple Jason and Laura Kenny, who own 10 combined Olympic titles.

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Day Time (ET) Key Events Network
Wednesday 12:20 p.m. Team sprints NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
8 p.m.* Olympic Channel | STREAM
Thursday 12:20 p.m. Team pursuits NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
8 p.m.* Olympic Channel | STREAM
Friday 12:20 p.m. Women’s sprint, omnium NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
10:30 p.m.* Olympic Channel | STREAM
Saturday 10:20 a.m. Women’s madison NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
5 p.m.* Olympic Channel | STREAM
Sunday 7:50 a.m. Women’s keirin NBC Sports Gold | STREAM
5 p.m.* Olympic Channel | STREAM

*Delayed broadcast