Friday 2 December 2016

Four Paralympians run 1500m faster than Rio Olympics gold medallist

Published 13/09/2016 | 10:38

Silver medalist Tamiru Demisse of Ethiopia, gold medalist Abdellatif Baka of Algeria and bronze medalist Henry Kirwa of Kenya celebrate on the podium at the medal ceremony
Silver medalist Tamiru Demisse of Ethiopia, gold medalist Abdellatif Baka of Algeria and bronze medalist Henry Kirwa of Kenya celebrate on the podium at the medal ceremony

The Paralympic 1,500m final witnessed a stunning outcome in Rio last night as the top four finishers achieved quicker times than the Olympic Games gold medallist.

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Algeria's Abdellatif Baka claimed victory in the T13 1,500m - but incredibly the first four athletes were all faster than American Matthew Centrowitz who won gold at the Olympics last month.

Baka set a world record of 3mins 48.29secs for victory, more than 1.7 seconds faster than Centrowitz.

But the Algerian was not the only one to better that of the Olympic field in a T13 class which caters for visually impaired competitors.

Tamiru Demisse of Ethiopian took silver in a time of 3:48.49 while Henry Kirwa from Kenya finished with bronze in 3:49.59.

Fouad Baka, meanwhile, the brother of the gold medallist, finished outside the medals but clocked 3:49.84 - again ahead of the Olympic Games gold time.

"It wasn't easy to get this gold medal," Paralympic champion Baka said.

"I've been working one or two years non-stop and it's been very, very hard for me."

There are two other categories for visual impairment - the T11 and T12 - with the lower numbers indicating more severe impairment.

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