Time is nearly up on a summer of unforgettable competition in Tokyo. The penultimate day of the Paralympic Games delivered golden moments, but also plenty of emotion for medals of other colors.
Nick Mayhugh thrilled Olympic Stadium on the track once again, while the United States women's wheelchair basketball team ended its Tokyo run on a winning note in the bronze medal game. Meanwhile, the soccer 5-a-side gold medal game came down to a clash of iconic rivals.
Here's a rundown of the biggest stories and top highlights from Day 11 of the Tokyo Paralympics.
Track & Field
Paralympic newcomer Nick Mayhugh backed up his confident talk after his world record-setting performance in the heats, delivering on his prediction to go faster and win gold in the final. The 25-year-old converted soccer player won the men's 200m T37 final in 21.91 for another world record and his fourth medal (third gold) of the Tokyo Games.
Mayhugh's teammate on Team USA's "Magic Four" universal relay squad, Brittni Mason, captured her third Tokyo medal with silver in the women's 200m T45. Mason finished in 25 seconds flat, a half-second behind gold medalist Lisbeli Marina Vera Andrade of Venezuela, who earlier in the Games took the 100m T45 gold just ahead of Mason.
American women picked up two bronze medals in the morning session. Kym Crosby was third in the 400m T13, while Alexa Halko was took bronze in the 800m T34. Earlier in the Games, Crosby repeated at the bronze medalist in the 100; she finished fourth in the 400 in 2016.
Isaac Jean-Paul also nabbed a bronze in the men's long jump T13 at 6.93 meters. And rounding out Team USA's collection of copper on Day 11 was Jarryd Wallace in the men's 200m T64 final. Wallace, a three-time world champion, had missed out on a Paralympic medal in two prior appearances in London and Rio. Capturing the elusive medal brought him to tears after the race.
In the men's VL2 final, American Steven "Blake" Haxton won the silver in 55.093 seconds for his first Paralympic medal. He was just over two seconds behind Brazil's Fernando Rufino de Paulo, who took gold in 53.077 seconds.
Haxton was captain of his high school rowing team and a Division I recruit as an able-bodied athlete when he contracted Necrotizing Fasciitis, better known as "flesh-eating disease." To combat the deadly bacteria, Haxton required more than 20 major surgeries including the amputation of both his legs. He finished one spot outside the medals in his debut Paralympics in Rio.
For the second consecutive Paralympics, the United States and Germany met in the medal round of the women's wheelchair basketball tournament. This time the prize was bronze rather than gold, but the result was the same: a victory for Team USA. The American squad executed a balanced and mistake-free game to beat Germany and star player Marieke Miller, 64-51.
Rose Hollermann posted a triple double for the U.S. with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, while Lindsey Zurbrugg led the team in scoring with 22 points. The U.S. has now won a medal in women's wheelchair basketball in four of the last five Paralympic Games.
Back-to-back bronze medalists in 2012 and 2016, the Netherlands ascended to the top of the podium in Tokyo with a 50-31 win over China in the gold medal game. The Dutch defense, aided by several misses on open shots by the Chinese, proved to be the difference in the final. Bo Kramer led all scorers with 15 points while China did not have a player in double figures.
Australia's Dylan Alcott defended his gold medal in quad singles, defeating the Netherlands' Sam Schroder 7-6, 6-1. Alcott also won silver in quad doubles earlier in the Games, and already won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in 2021. He's scheduled to pursue a "Golden Slam" at the U.S. Open.
Japan's Yui Kamiji and Momoko Ohtani defeated China's Wang Ziying and Zhu Zhenzhen 6-2, 7-6 in the women's doubles bronze medal match. The Japanese pair persevered through a marathon second set that lasted an hour and 42 minutes after cruising through a 47-minute first set.
International soccer's most iconic rivalry does not need to be seen to be felt. In the gold medal match of the men's soccer 5-a-side for athletes who are blind, Brazil edged South American neighbors Argentina 1-0. Raimundo Mendes scored the decisive goal late in the second half, and it was a beauty. Mendes collected the ball near midfield, dribbled through four Argentinian defenders and placed his shot into the top corner of the net for a gorgeous — and vital — solo goal.
With the win, Brazil continued its dominance of the Paralympic goalball tournament. The Canary Yellows have won all five gold medals in the sport's Paralympic history. Argentina picked up its second silver medal.
Morocco shut out China 4-0 in the men's bronze medal match. Forward Zouhair Snisla scored all four goals in the fourth, eighth, 18th and 30th minutes.
Iran continued its dynasty in men's sitting volleyball, winning its seventh Paralympic gold medal by defeating the Russian Paralympic Committee by three sets to one. The star of the final was the towering Morteza Mehrzad, who led Iran with 28 points. When he is not sitting, Mehrzad stands over eight feet tall and is believed to be the second-tallest man in the world.
The Russians collected their first sitting volleyball Paralympic medal with the silver.