From staff reports
TOKYO – A graduate of the Naval Academy who was blinded in Afghanistan while serving as an explosives expert received some help from a Spokane native on the way to Paralympic gold.
Brad Snyder, guided by Spokane’s Greg Billington, won the gold medal in the Men’s PTVI triathlon at the Tokyo Paralympic Games in a time of 1:01.16. Synder led the race from start to finish, beating silver-medalist Hector Catala Laparra of Spain by nearly a full minute.
Billington was a 2016 Rio Olympian and has family and coaching connections in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. Since the Rio Games, Billington has won the San Francisco Marathon and qualified for the U.S. Olympic marathon trials.
After winning gold in the women’s 5,000-meter T54 wheelchair race, Tekoa native Susannah Scaroni qualified for the finals of the 800-meter T54 race. Scaroni placed second in her heat and had the second fastest time overall in 1 minute, 51.42 seconds. Manuela Schaer of Switzerland edged Scaroni, finishing first in 1 minute, 51.09 seconds.
Yen Hoang, another Parasport Spokane athlete competing in Tokyo, qualified for the finals of the women’s 800-meter T53 wheelchair race with a third-place finish in the first heat in 1:51.49. Parasport Spokane athlete Chelsea McClammer placed fifth in the second heat and did not qualify for the medal round.