The 2016 Rio Paralympics are still going on despite monetary troubles, and one event that has produced some shocking results is the men’s 1,500 meter for the visually impaired.
It may seem crazy to think that those with extreme visual issues are racing their way around the track at Rio, but apparently the elite at this event have a few things to show the world. Mainly because four…yes, four, finishers of this 1,500-meter event managed to finish faster than the regular Olympic champion at the same event just one month ago could do.
Abdellatif Baka of Algeria finished the race in a time of 3:48.29, which not only shattered his personal best, but also shattered the Paralympic world record as well. Oh, and did we mention he also would’ve bested the regular Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz Jr. of the United States (who finished in 3:50.00 himself)?
That time wouldn’t have been good enough in this event (not even to make the podium), as even the fourth place Paralympian at the 1,500-meter T13 final (T13 being the specific visually impaired classification) finished better than Centrowitz did.
Ironically, it was Abdellatif’s own brother, Fouad Baka, that finished fourth in this event and still would’ve grabbed the gold medal at the regular Olympics.
The winner, Adbellatif, spoke to the official website for the Rio Olympics following his win and had this to say:
“It wasn’t easy to get this gold medal,” said Baka. “I’ve been working one or two years non-stop and it’s been very, very hard for me,” said Baka.
All of that effort certainly paid off in reaching his goal. Perhaps Baka and Centrowitz should team up for a one-on-one race around the track to help benefit the Paralympic games or some charity of Baka’s choosing.
It certainly would have our attention, and should have the world’s attention as well.