NZ ‘blade runner’ beats Pistorius record
NEW Zealand’s Liam Malone has broken a Paralympic Games record held by South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius.
The 22-year-old, from Nelson, won gold in the men’s 200m T44 final in Rio in a time of 21.06 seconds. Pistorius’ record was 21.30 seconds.
Victory gave Malone his second medal of the Games and New Zealand’s third gold of the day.
He won silver in the 100m on Friday, losing out to Great Britain’s Jonnie Peacock, who retained his title.
Malone’s blades were bought with donations from members of the public.
“I wouldn’t be here without those blades in the first instance. I’m filled with gratitude to everyone who invested in me from the start,” he said after the 100m final, according to New Zealand’s Stuff news agency.
Pistorius, one of the world’s most famous disability athletes, is serving a six-year jail term for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Meanwhile, Four visually impaired African athletes clocked a faster time than the Olympic gold medallist Matthew Centrowitz in the men’s 1500m race.
Abdellatif Baka of Algeria set a Paralympic world record by crossing the finish line in 3:48.29 in the men’s T12/13 1500m on Sunday (Monday morning SA time).
It was an all-African podium as Ethopia’s Tamiru Demisse took silver in a time of 3:48.49 and Kenya’s Henry Kirwa took bronze in 3:49.59.
Coming within a whisker of a podium position, Abdellatif ’s brother Fouad Baka finished in 3:49.84.
T13 classification is for athletes who have the least visual impairment, and as the number descends the more severe their impairment is.
Incredibly, the four athletes all finished faster than every able-bodied Olympic athlete who participated in the 1500m final this year in Rio.
In the Olympic Games, American Centrowitz won the gold medal in the 1500m race in an exact time of 3:50.00.
It just goes to show that differently-abled athletes deserve just as much, if not more, respect than their able-bodied counterparts.— Sport24.