Townsend-Roberts Wins Long Jump Gold
Sept. 14, 2016


Roderick Townsend-Roberts earned a gold medal at the Paralympic Games on Wednesday afternoon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, claiming the long jump – T45/46/47 title thanks to a Paralympic Record jump of 24-3.75 (7.41m). The former Boise State athlete is the second Paralympian to win a gold medal in school history.

He joins former track and field athlete Barb Buchan (1974-78), as Buchan claimed two gold medals in cycling at the 2008 Summer Paralympics.

Representing the United States, Townsend-Roberts started the event with a fantastic jump of 23-9.75 (7.25m) to take the early lead. That mark held for three more rounds until the fifth round when China’s Hao Wang took over the top spot after recording a 23-11.5 (7.30m).

Needing to improve upon Wang’s mark, Townsend-Roberts answered the challenge in the fifth round and leapt 24-3.75 (7.41m) to secure the win. Wang took silver and France’s Arnaud Assoumani – the world record holder – claimed the bronze.

Prior to representing the United States at the Paralympics, Townsend-Roberts excelled as a multi athlete at Boise State. He took third in the heptathlon (5,028 points) at the 2013 Mountain West Conference Championships.

He also placed second in the high jump at the 2014 outdoor conference championships, earning All-MW honors in the process. His best collegiate long jump mark was a 22-3 (6.78m) at the indoor conference championships that same year, good for 10th place.

Townsend-Roberts will participate in his last event of the Paralympics when he competes in the high jump – T45/46/47 on Friday at 3:18 p.m. (MT).

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