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Four Paralympians ran 1,500-metre faster than Rio Olympics gold medallist

other-sports Updated: Sep 13, 2016 19:58 IST
Leslie Xavier
Leslie Xavier
Hindustan Times
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Algeria's Abdellatif Baka narrowly wins the gold ahead of Ethiopia's Tamiru Demisse in the men's 1,500-metre T13 final athletics in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. (AP)

The top four finishers of the Paralympics men’s T-13 class 1,500 metres final was faster than the winner of the 1,500 metre event at the Rio Olympics.

Abdellatif Baka of Algeria won gold in the men’s T13-class on Sunday with a blistering pace that was faster than American Matthew Centrowitz, the gold medallist in the same distance at the Olympics.

In fact, Baka’s brother, Fouad, who finished fourth in the race was also faster than Centrowitz. Fouad clocked a timing of 3:49.84 while his brother won with a timing of 3:48.29.

The silver and bronze medals were won by Tamiru Demisse (3:48.49) of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Henry Kirwa (3:49.59). Centrowitz won the Olympic final last month with a timing of 3:50.00.

The category in which the para-athletes competed, T-13, is for the visually impaired athletes, where using blades or any devices is not allowed.

The Olympic 1,500 race was a slow affair—a deliberate strategy by the American gold medallist. Centrowitz took the lead at the start and controlled the pace, thereafter to coast to victory with a late push.

In the qualifying race at the Olympics, Centrowitz ran 3:39.31, while the fastest qualifier was Jakub Holusa of the Czech Republic (3:38.31). The world record (3:26.00) belongs to Morocco’s Hicham el Guerrouj, set in 1998.