Tatyana McFadden is off to a medal start, but she won’t win seven golds in Rio.
McFadden earned silver in the 100m, her shortest and arguably toughest individual race of a seven-event schedule at her fourth Summer Paralympics on Friday night. It’s her 12th career Paralympic medal.
McFadden, best known for her wheelchair marathon prowess, came back to take second in the sprint behind China’s Liu Wenjun at the Olympic Stadium.
Liu won in 16.00 seconds, followed by McFadden in 16.13, but McFadden looked to be in about sixth place one-quarter through the race before creeping up on the Chinese.
“With this silver I’m so happy, because in London I got bronze [in the 100m],” McFadden said. “So I’m moving up in my ranks. So I’m really pleased with that. I know I can do the next couple of races, I just have to stay relaxed.”
NBCSN and the NBC Sports app will have Paralympics coverage Friday at 11:30 p.m ET.
McFadden’s next race is the 400m, with preliminary heats and the final both on Sunday.
McFadden’s back story is well-known in Paralympic and marathon circles. She was born in Russia paralyzed from the waist down due to spina bifida and adopted from a St. Petersburg orphanage at age 6.
In Rio, she could be in line for 12 races in 11 days traversing 58,195 meters (or 630 football fields). She believed it was possible to win them all.
She can still win six golds, which would be more than any American since swimmer Erin Popovich‘s seven at Athens 2004.
McFadden showed her track versatility at the 2013 IPC World Championships, sweeping the 100m through the 5000m to become the first athlete to take six golds at a single worlds. That was in July 2013. Earlier that year, she won the Boston and London Marathons. Later that year, she won the Chicago and New York City Marathons.
She swept all four of those marathons in 2013, 2014 and 2015.Follow @nzaccardi