Tatyana McFadden takes silver in her first race in Rio

1 Comment

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.

MORE: Rio Paralympics broadcast schedule

Swimming short-course records in peril as FINA recognizes ISL times

Getty Images
Leave a comment

In the debut season of the International Swimming League, six U.S. short-course records have fallen. USA Swimming has recognized the new circuit’s times from the outset.

International body FINA, which at first threatened to ban swimmers who participated in the ISL and then said it would not recognize records from the team-based league, which debuted in October and will hold its first final meet Dec. 20-21 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, is now recognizing those times, and the effects on its statistics have been drastic.

MORE: Ledecky sets U.S. record in ISL debut

This morning, a downloaded list of the top times in the world this year included no ISL times. By the afternoon, times from the ISL’s meet over the weekend in College Park, Md., accounted for most of the times on the lists, including the top 10 in the women’s 50m freestyle and women’s 100m freestyle.

So far, the ISL hasn’t figured into the top five on many all-time FINA lists. But the best short-course times are typically posted near the end of the year, and the ISL has two meets remaining.

The U.S. record book has already changed. In October, Katie Ledecky set the 400m freestyle record (3:54.06) and Melanie Margalis set the 200m medley mark (2:04.18).

In College Park this weekend, Margalis also set the U.S. 400m medley record (4:24.46) and Ian Finnerty set two records the 50m breaststroke (25.99), with runner-up Michael Andrew also beating the previous record, and the 100m breaststroke (56.29). Also, Caeleb Dressel set the 50m butterfly record (22.21).

Only half of the swimmers in the ISL will advance to the final, and qualification isn’t necessarily in their hands. After the College Park meet, the Cali Condors and LA Current clinched spots in Las Vegas. That’s bad news for Andrew (New York Breakers), Finnerty (DC Trident) and Ledecky (DC Trident).

Dressel, Margalis and Lilly King — all representing the Condors — will have another shot at records in Vegas. 

FINA, as usual, is running its World Cup circuit during the fall and early winter, and some swimmers — including overall World Cup champions Vladimir Morozov and Cate Campbell — are pulling double duty between the World Cup and ISL.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

 

IOC announces deal with Airbnb to add housing for future Olympics

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The International Olympic Committee has moved to help with the scramble to house the influx of athletes, staff and spectators with each Olympics, making a deal with online housing broker Airbnb to add accommodations for the Games through 2028.

“The agreement includes accommodation provisions that will reduce costs for Olympic Games organizers and stakeholders, minimize the need for construction of new accommodation infrastructure for the Olympic Games period, and generate direct revenue for local hosts and communities,” the IOC announced.

Airbnb’s partnership also includes accommodation for disability athletes for the Paralympic Games, and the company will join large global companies such as Coca-Cola, Visa and Panasonic as worldwide Olympic partners.

Athletes also will have a chance to make money by hosting travelers.

“As an Olympian host, you can create and lead an experience inspired by your expertise and interests,” reads an explanation on the Olympic athlete support portal Athlete365.

Outside the Olympics and Olympic athlete experiences, the IOC and Airbnb are pledging to work together on long-term support to refugees.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!