Sprinter Cheri Madsen wins third 100m Paralympic medal – 25 years after her first

2020 Tokyo Paralympics - Day 8
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Cheri Madsen earned the bronze medal in the women’s 100m T54 on Wednesday at what she says will be her final Paralympic Games – though she’s said that before.

Madsen, who turns 45 later this month, now owns nine Paralympic medals spread over 25 years, with a 13-year retirement included there.

“It feels really good, I’ve worked really hard,” Madsen told media of her Tokyo performance. “Winning this medal, to me this’ll mean that every Paralympics I’ve ever been to I’ve medaled. I’m very happy that I was able to pull that off.”

A member of the Omaha tribe, Madsen has been paralyzed since age 3 when her body was attacked by an unknown virus. She took up wheelchair racing in 1994 and made her Paralympic debut in Atlanta two years later.

Then 19, Madsen medaled in all four of her races with silver in the 100 and 200, and bronze in the 400 and 800. She also earned bronze in an Olympic exhibition 800m that year.

Her first Paralympic golds came at the Sydney 2000 Games in the 100 and 400; she also took silver in the 200 and was fourth in the 800. Madsen retired at 24 years old to start a family.

Now a mother of two daughters, she returned to competition in 2013 as a way to honor the memory of her father and brother, who died in a 2007 car accident.

Neither age nor time off slowed her down. Madsen has since won seven medals at the past four world championships, plus 200m silver at the Rio Paralympics.

She was second in her 100m heat Wednesday morning in Tokyo in 16.60 seconds, then ran a season’s best 16.33 seconds in the final to take bronze.

China’s Zhou Zhaoqian won in 15.90 for her second gold of the meet. Finland’s Amanda Kotaja took silver in 15.93. American Hannah Dederick was fourth, 0.03 seconds behind Madsen.

“I’m just trying to give it all that I can for my last Games,” Madsen said. “This is it.”

Her final Paralympic race will be Thursday’s 400m T54.

Three other Americans medaled in Wednesday’s track and field competition.

Nick Mayhugh, who had won the 100m T37 in world-record time, took silver in the 400m T37 – the first international race of his career at that distance. He set an American record of 50.26 seconds, behind Russian Andrei Vdovin, who won in a world record 49.34.

Trenten Merrill also set an American record, placing third in the long jump T64 at 7.08 meters.

Reigning world champion Josh Cinnamo took bronze in the shot put F46 at his Paralympic debut with a season’s best throw of 15.90 meters.

A full Paralympic Games broadcast schedule is available here. Events can also be streamed on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app, with more info available here.

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Summer McIntosh breaks 400m individual medley world record, extends historic week

Summer McIntosh

Canadian swimmer Summer McIntosh broke her second world record this week, lowering the 400m individual medley mark on Saturday.

McIntosh, a 16-year-old who trains in Sarasota, Florida, clocked 4 minutes, 25.87 seconds at the Canadian Championships in Toronto.

She took down Hungarian Katinka Hosszu‘s world record of 4:26.36 from the 2016 Rio Olympics. Before Saturday, McIntosh had the fourth-fastest time in history of 4:28.61.

“It’s always nice to set world records,” McIntosh said.

On Tuesday, McIntosh broke the 400m freestyle world record, becoming the youngest swimmer to break a world record in an individual Olympic event since Katie Ledecky in 2013.

McIntosh also this week became the fourth-fastest woman in history in the 200m individual medley and the eighth-fastest woman in history in the 200m butterfly.

In each of her four races this week, she also broke the world junior record as the fastest woman in history under the age of 19.

She is entered to swim the 200m free on the meet’s final day on Sunday. She is already the eighth-fastest woman in history in that event.

McIntosh, whose mom swam the 1984 Olympic 200m fly and whose sister competed at last week’s world figure skating championships, placed fourth in the Tokyo Olympic 400m free at age 14.

Last summer, she won the 200m fly and 400m IM at the world championships, becoming the youngest individual world champion since 2011.

This summer, she could be at the center of a showdown in the 400m free at the world championships with reigning world champion Ledecky and reigning Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus of Australia. They are the three fastest women in history in the event.

Around age 7, McIntosh transcribed Ledecky quotes and put them on her wall.

MORE: McIntosh chose swimming and became Canada’s big splash

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Hilary Knight leads new-look U.S. women’s hockey roster for world championship

Hilary Knight

Hilary Knight headlines a U.S. women’s hockey roster for this month’s world championship that lacks some of the biggest names from last year’s Olympic silver-medal team. Changes have been made as the U.S. looks to end losing streaks to Canada, both overall and in major finals.

The full roster is here. Worlds start Wednesday in Brampton, Ontario, and run through the gold-medal game on April 16.

It was already known that the team would be without stalwart forwards Kendall Coyne Schofield, who plans to return to the national team after having her first child this summer, and Brianna Decker, who announced her retirement last month.

Notable cuts include the No. 1 goalies from the last two Olympics: Alex Cavallini, who returned from Christmas childbirth for the tryout camp this past week, and Maddie Rooney, the breakout of the 2018 Olympic champion team.

Cavallini, 31, was bidding to become the first player to make an Olympic or world team after childbirth since Jenny Potter, who played at the Olympics in 2002, 2006 and 2010 as a mom, plus at several world championships, including less than three months after childbirth in 2007.

Forward Hannah Brandt, who played on the top line at last year’s Olympics with Knight and Coyne Schofield, also didn’t make the team.

In all, 13 of the 25 players on the team are Olympians, including three-time Olympic medalists forward Amanda Kessel and defender Lee Stecklein.

The next generation includes forward Taylor Heise, 23, who led the 2022 World Championship with seven goals and was the 2022 NCAA Player of the Year at Minnesota.

The team includes two teens — 19-year-old defender Haley Winn and 18-year-old forward Tessa Janecke — who were also the only teens at last week’s 46-player tryout camp. Janecke, a Penn State freshman, is set to become the youngest U.S. forward to play at an Olympics or worlds since Brandt in 2012.

Abbey Levy, a 6-foot-1 goalie from Boston College, made her first world team, joining veterans Nicole Hensley and Aerin Frankel.

Last summer, Canada repeated as world champion by beating the U.S. in the final, six months after beating the U.S. in the Olympic final. Canada is on its longest global title streak since winning all five Olympic or world titles between 1999 and 2004.

Also at last summer’s worlds, the 33-year-old Knight broke the career world championship record for points (now up to 89). She also has the most goals in world championship history (53). Knight, already the oldest U.S. Olympic women’s hockey player in history, will become the second-oldest American to play at a worlds after Cammi Granato, who was 34 at her last worlds in 2005.

The Canadians are on a four-game win streak versus the Americans, capping a comeback in their recent seven-game rivalry series from down three games to none. Their 5-0 win in the decider in February was their largest margin of victory over the U.S. since 2005.

Last May, former AHL coach John Wroblewski was named U.S. head coach to succeed Joel Johnson, the Olympic coach.

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