While representing U.S. athletes with autism, Breanna Clark breaks Paralympic record
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - For Breanna Clark, victory dances are what fans have now grown to expect. Tuesday at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, it happened once more in the Tokyo rain as the west coast sprinter took gold in the Women’s 400m Race- T20, setting a new world record, 55.18 seconds.
Halfway into the way into the sprint, Clark took a commanding lead, and held on for the remained of the race. Even though she grew tired at the end, because of her take-off in the first 200 meters, she had enough energy left to set a new world record- 55.19, a time shattered by .8 seconds.
While mother-turned-coach Rosalyn (a 1976 Olympic silver medalist herself) watched from the stands, family members from Country Club Hills, Ind. were cheering emphatically on national television. Immediately after the race, celebratory dance moves from Breanna followed.
The “T20” class is for those with intellectual disabilities. Clark, who resides in Los Angeles, was diagnosed with autism at age four. Since then, she has had a successful career on the track, which includes a gold medal in the 400m sprint at the Rio Games in 2016- followed by world titles in 2017 and 2019.
Yuliia Shuliyar of Ukraine took silver (56.19), and Jardenia da Silva of Brazil earned bronze (57.43). Soon after crossing the finish line, da Silva was triumphantly weeping- while being wrapped in the Brazilian flag.
Track and field at the Tokyo Paralympics continues this week. The Games end Sunday, September 5.
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