Four Paralympians Ran the 1,500 Faster Than the Olympic Gold Medalist

Being visually impaired didn’t slow them down at all

By Evan Bleier

 
Four Paralympians Ran the 1,500 Faster Than the Olympic Gold Medalist
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13 September 2016

After finishing the event but missing out on a medal in the men’s T13-class 1,500 meters at the Paralympics, Fouad Baka found he'd snagged a consolation prize of sorts — and it wasn’t that his brother won the race.

The Algerian athlete’s consolation was his time of 3:49.84 beat the 3:50.00 mark that American Matthew Centrowitz posted to capture the gold medal last month at the Olympics.

As it happens, Baka was one of four visually impaired Paralympians who beat out Centrowitz’s time in a race that featured a sprint to the finish line between Ethiopian Tamiru Demisse and Abdellatif Baka, Fouad’s brother. Abdellatif took first place and set a new T13 world record (3:48.29).

“It wasn't easy to get this gold medal,” the victorious Baka said afterwards. “I’ve been working one or two years non-stop and it’s been very, very hard for me.”

In addition to the Baka brothers, silver medalist Demisse and bronze medalist Henry Kirwa of Kenya both ran faster than Centrowitz did last month in Rio.

While their accomplishments should be lauded and applauded, it is worth mentioning that last month’s Olympic final was the slowest in 84 years, as FOX Sports points out.

Main image courtesy of Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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