American Wheelchair Athletes Qualify for Tokyo Games With Chicago Marathon Finishes

Para-athletes used the marathon to compete for a slot on Team USA at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo

For the top Americans to finish the wheelchair races at the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, earning a slot on the podium was made even better this year. 

That's because they also qualified for a spot on Team USA in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. 

Twenty-one-year-old Daniel Romanchuk was among those athletes, not only defending his title in the men's wheelchair race, but securing his way to Olympic athlete status. 

"It is again one of those things that’s gonna take a while to sink in," he said, getting emotional in a finish line interview with NBC 5. 

Facing tight competition, 21-year-old Romanchuk cruised to a repeat victory in the race after breaking from the pack in a major way. 

He will be joined on Team USA by Tatyana McFadden and Susannah Scaroni, who finished among the top in the women's wheelchair race.

"We are the first named to the Tokyo Paralympic Team so we're really, really excited to be officially going," McFadden said. 

The women's race was a close finish, with McFadden coming in second, followed closely by Scaroni and Amanda McGrory, who finished in what appeared to be a tie. 

"We just worked as hard as we could to secure these slots today so it was a good American showing today," Scaroni said. 

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