Lex Gillette added to his collection of Paralympics medals on Friday. It just wasn’t the color he was shooting for.
The Raleigh native and East Carolina graduate, who has been blind since the age of eight, earned his fifth silver medal in the event — placing to second to China’s Dongdong Di at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium. He also won silver medals in the long jump at the 2004 Games in Athens, the 2008 Games in Beijing, the 2012 Games in London and the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Gillette fouled on his first attempt before posting a jump of 6.17 meters (20.24 feet). It turned out to be his best effort in the six-jump competition.
Di, meanwhile, started the event with a jump of 6.35 meters (20.83 feet), increasing his distance to 6.47 meters (21.23 feet) three jumps later. The mark was short of the Olympic record of 6.67 meters (21.88 feet) by Spain’s Jose Rodriguez and Gillette’s world record of 6.73 meters (22.08 feet), set in 2014.
France’s Ronan Pallier won the bronze medal.