Tatyana McFadden finishes fifth in T54 marathon

Team USA’s 20-time Paralympic medalist 'proud' after winning gold, silver and bronze in Tokyo; wheelchair racer will ‘regroup and recover’ before competing at Berlin marathon.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Tatyana McFadden has finished fifth at the T54 marathon, crossing over the line in a time of 1:40:14 at a rain-soaked Olympic Stadium.

In a thrilling finale, Australia’s Madison de Rozario became her country’s first Paralympic marathon winner by just one second after edging ahead of Manuela Schaer of Switzerland in the final straight to clock 1:38:11 – a new record.

The Netherlands’ Nikita den Boer won bronze in 1:38:16.

Although the Team USA star fell outside the medals in her last race of the Games, the 32-year-old was pleased with her performance having last competed in the marathon in 2019.

“The conditions were really tough,” McFadden told Olympics.com. “I think tactically it could have played it a little bit differently, but overall, it's good to learn.”

“I'm proud of myself. I mean, I haven't raced a marathon since 2019 so it's really hard to gauge the fitness of where everyone's at. That's why I think tactically I could have changed a few things, but overall, I'm really proud of myself.”

McFadden, silver medalist in the event at Rio 2016, will leave Tokyo having amassed a career total of 20 Paralympic medals after winning gold in the 4x100m universal relay, silver in the 800m and bronze in the 5000m.

It’s an achievement even more remarkable considering the racer was diagnosed with life-threatening blood clots in 2017, leaving her unsure whether she would ever compete again.

“To have 20 medals so far in track and field in my career is good!” she said after the race. “I'm really happy to come home with… gold, silver and bronze. I'm really happy.”

Paris 2024 and LA 2028 on the cards

There won’t be long before McFadden attempts to add to her medal haul with the USA star targeting glory at the Berlin marathon on 26 September, with the Paralympic Games at Paris in 2024 and LA 2028 further on the horizon.

“[I’m going to] go back and regroup and just recover as best as I can and head over to Berlin. It's going to be a quick turnaround, a tough turnaround, but I think it'll be fun and exciting.

“If my competitors are doing so well… and they're older than me, I think I will be fine.”