Wichita State sprinter Deja Young won her first Paralympics gold medal Sunday in Rio de Janeiro when she won the 100-meter final in her division.
Young, who entered the final with the fastest preliminary time in the T47 division, ran the 100 in 12.15 seconds to beat Poland’s Alicja Fiodorow (12.46) and Brazil’s Teresinha Santos (12.84).
“What really got me was hearing the national anthem before I ran,” she told reporters in Rio. “It’s 9/11 and a really important day for us. I just wanted to be able to hear that national anthem again with me on the podium.”
Young was born with a shoulder deformity after the doctor delivering her pulled on her head too hard and creating a dislocated shoulder. She’s beginning her third year at Wichita State.
Thursday is Young’s next competition, when she runs in qualifying for the 200 meters. The 200 final is Friday night.
Augusta’s Liz Willis begins competition in the 400 meters Monday and competes in the 100 and 200 later this week.
Wichitan Nick Taylor and partner David Wagner won their semifinal match in quad doubles tennis on Sunday night, defeating an Israeli team 6-4, 6-2. They play in Tuesday’s night gold-medal match, where they have won three golds in past Paralympics.