NZ ‘blade run­ner’ beats Pis­to­rius record

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

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.

Maria Shara­pova

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