Jaydin Blackwell's sprint double leads U.S. at Para track and field worlds

Jaydin Blackwell repeated as T38 100m and 400m champion as the U.S. won six gold medals and 24 total medals at the World Para Track and Field Championships that ended Saturday in Kobe, Japan.

Blackwell, a 20-year-old from the Detroit suburbs, confirmed his status as one of the biggest American stars across all sports leading into the Paris Paralympics, which open Aug. 28.

First, he won the 100m in a championship record 10.86 seconds last Saturday.

Then on Tuesday, Blackwell took 400m gold in 48.87 seconds, leading a U.S. one-two with Ryan Medrano (50.53).


In Paris, Blackwell can bid to become the first American to win 100m and 400m gold in any classification at one Paralympics since Raymond Martin won the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m in T52 in 2012.

There is no 200m at the Paralympics in Blackwell's classification.

Before he can focus on Paris, there are the U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Trials in Miramar, Florida, from July 18-20.

Blackwell made his international debut at the July 2023 World Championships in Paris, where he broke the T38 400m world record. That came after he underwent ACL and meniscus surgery in 2022.

He was born in 2004 at 26 weeks weighing 1 pound, 6 ounces, and spent three months in the hospital. His mom, Rochelle, had an emergency C-section due to preeclampsia.

Blackwell was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which affects the muscles in his legs, at age 6.
Also at world championships, the U.S. added golds from Mikey Brannigan (men's T20 1500m), Roderick Townsend (men's T47 high jump), David Blair (men's F64 discus) and Noelle Malkamaki (women's F46 shot put).

Brannigan, 27, earned his first global title in seven years. He broke his own championship record by clocking 3:51.71.

Brannigan, the Rio Paralympic gold medalist, placed fourth in the 1500m at the Tokyo Games and took silver at last July's world championships in Paris.

Townsend, 30, has won all seven Paralympic and world titles in the T47 high jump dating to 2015.

Derek Loccident led the U.S. with three total medals competing in the T64 classification: silver in the high jump and long jump and bronze in the 100m.

In September 2018, Loccident's left foot was severed in a train accident. He returned to finish his college football career at Central Oklahoma in 2021 as a below-the-knee amputee and later picked up Para track and field.

“It all began with me making the decision to go back into football after my train accident in 2018," Loccident said at worlds, according to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. "A lot of those skills I built throughout that time are translating really well to track and field. Football really set the bar for me and what I’m capable of doing.”