The two-time CART champion who lost both legs in 2001 race car crash in Germany posted a time of 24 minutes, 50.22 seconds.
German Norbert Mossandl took silver with a time of 25 minutes, 17.40 seconds.
Beijing gold medal winner Oscar Sanchez of the United States, a former U.S. Marine who injured his spinal cord in a hit-and-run motorcycle accident in 2001, finished in third in 25 minutes, 35.36 seconds.
Powered by the arms, a hand cycle has two coasting rear wheels and one steerable front wheel.
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