4 visually impaired athletes beat Olympic gold time

Abdellatif Baka, Yeltsin Jacques (Getty Images)
Abdellatif Baka, Yeltsin Jacques (Getty Images)

Cape Town - 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.

Photo: Getty Images

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