All of the results we have to share with you today are spoilers, which as always are stashed at the bottom of the post. Stop reading there if you want to hold the outcomes in suspense until you’re able to watch the replay. Before we get to those, we’d like to take a quick look at the overall medal table.
As of this writing (including the events held overnight), the US has 89 total medals and 32 golds. Those figures rank fifth and fourth, respectively, among all competing nations. With a couple more days of competition left, we expect the final tally to wind up right around 100 total medals. That sits on a par with Team USA’s haul from the 2012 Games (when the US logged 98 podium finishes, re) and 2008 (99 medals). The gold medal tallies are similarly aligned. The outlier in this century is the 2016 Rio Games, where the US piled up 115 medals and 40 golds.
Our best guesstimate is that about 30 percent of Team USA’s medals have been won by amputee athletes. We’ll present a full accounting next week, right after Labor Day.
THIS WEEKEND’S COMPETITION: WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
Four amputee sprinters with medal hopes will be racing this weekend. Noelle Lambert‘s qualifying heat in the women’s 100m (T63) happens tonight at 10 pm Eastern time. If she gets the finals, her medal race goes down Saturday morning at 8:20 Eastern.
Meanwhile, tonight at 10:20 Eastern, three Americans—Jonathan Gore, Trenten Merrill, and Jarryd Wallace—will try to qualify in the men’s 200m (T64). For all who advance, the finals of that event start at 8:15 am Eastern on Saturday.
Both wheelchair basketball teams will be in action over the weekend with a medal on the line. The women, who lost to China 41-36 yesterday in the semis, will play for the bronze medal on Saturday morning beginning at 4:45 am Eastern time. The men played their semifinal game overnight; without telling you whether they won or lost, we can tell you their next game is Saturday night beginning at 11:30 pm Eastern. The result of their semifinal match is below in the Spoilers section.
Likewise, without telling you whether they’re playing for gold or bronze, we can tell you the women’s sitting volleyball team has one match left with medal implications. It starts Saturday night at 9 pm Eastern. Their semifinal match also happened overnight, and you can get the result in the Spoilers if you want.
A number of big-name amputees were in action on Friday night in Tokyo (overnight in the USA), including Hunter Woodhall, Jessica Long, men’s wheelchair basketball, and women’s sitting volleyball. Here’s what happened:
Men’s 400m T62: Hunter Woodhall added his third career Paralympic medal, taking bronze in his signature event. He becomes the first US amputee runner to finish on the podium in Tokyo. Woodhall posted a time of 48.61, his best of the season. Another US sprinter, Nick Rogers, placed 6th The peerless Johannes Floores of Germany took the gold.
Women’s 100m backstroke S6: Elizabeth Marks finally grabbed a gold medal, the second of her career and her first at these Games. She did it in record-shattering fashion, breaking the previous mark by almost two full seconds. Marks takes home three medals altogether, a gold and two silvers.
Women’s 100m butterfly S8: In her final Tokyo race, Jessica Long claimed her 6th medal of these Games and her third gold. It marks the third time Long has finished first in the 100m butterfly (she also won this race in 2012 and 2008), giving her 16 career gold medals and 29 career medals overall. Only one US Paralympian in history, Trischa Zorn-Hudson, has collected more hardware.
Men’s wheelchair basketball: Team USA romped over Spain in the semifinals, racing out to a 17-point halftime lead and cruising to an easy 14-point win. Brian Bell scored 20 and yanked down 11 boards to lead the team in both categories. The gold-medal opponent is a bit of a surprise: Japan upset Great Britain in the semifinals, overcoming an early eight-point deficit to win by double digits, 79-68. Japan has never won a Paralympic medal of any kind in men’s wheelchair basketball, but they’re the home team and that’s got to be worth something, even in an arena with no fans. The US team, for its part, is seeking back-to-back golds for the first time since the 1972-1976 Games.
Women’s sitting volleyball: Like the wheelchair hoopsters, the sitting volleyball team had an easy time of it in the semifinals, dispatching Brazil in straight sets. For the fourth consecutive Paralympics, Team USA will face Team China in the gold medal match. When these two teams squared off in pool play a week ago, China won in straight sets, but the scores were close, particularly the last two sets (which the US lost 22-25 and 24-26). The Chinese haven’t lost a single set since arriving in Tokyo, while the Americans haven’t lost a set to anyone other than China. Should be a fantastic finale.