Tatyana McFadden, the U.S. track and field star of the Rio Paralympics, was shockingly beaten in a photo finish in her final event, the T54 marathon, on Sunday.
McFadden lost to China’s Zou Lihong, though they both completed the 26.2-mile course in Rio in 1:38.44. American Amanda McGrory took bronze in 1:38.45, the same time as the fourth-place finisher.
McFadden finished the Games with four gold medals and two silvers, the most medals by a U.S. track and field athlete at a Paralympics since Bart Dodson took eight (all gold) at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
The marathon may be McFadden’s best event, as she swept the Boston, London, Chicago and New York City Marathon wheelchair races in 2013, 2014 and 2015, plus the Boston and London Marathons so far this year.
In Rio, McFadden won the 400m, 800m, 1500m and 5000m and earned silver in the 100m. She and the U.S. were disqualified from the 4x400m relay. McFadden came to Rio with a shot at seven gold medals.
“It’s amazing to be on the podium six times,” she said. “Some people weren’t on the podium at all.”
McFadden, 27, is now at 17 career Paralympic medals, including seven golds. One medal came at the Winter Paralympics, where McFadden took cross-country skiing silver at Sochi 2014.
“I have lots of homework,” she said. “I know what I need to do next time. Hopefully a little stronger and smarter. I’m ready for Tokyo .”
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.
NBC and the NBC Sports app will have Paralympics coverage Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.Follow @nzaccardi