Paralympians faster than Olympic Gold medallist: Why the blind can run better

first_imgThe Paralympics in Rio have given us some fine stories to cherish. But four athletes in the 1500m race became part of sporting folklore forever after bettering the time set by the Olympic Gold medallist in the same event this year. The top four finishers, all of them blind, in the 1500m final ran so fast that they all bettered the time registered by American Matthew Centrowitz, who won 1500m Gold at the Summer Olympics in Rio last month. Alegerian athlete Abdellatif Baka clinched the T13 1500m Paralympic Gold with a record time of 3:48.29 while Tamiru Demisse of Ethiopia took the Silver with a time of 3:48.49, Kenya’s Henry Kirwa came third after clocking 3:49.59 while Baka’s brother Fouad Baka finished fourth with 3:49.84.Algeria’s Abdellatif Baka finishes first to win gold ahead of Ethiopia’s Tamiru Demisse in the 1500m final at Rio Paralympics. (AP Photo) Centrowitz had taken 3:50.00 to clinch Gold at the Olympics. It was a sensational race. They were all fluid and ran like the wind. They could not see the thousands who had congregated to watch history unfolding but their chants and roar were loud and crystal clear. (Rio Paralympic Gold medallist quicker than Rio Olympic Gold medallist in 1500m race) Abdellatif was trailing somewhere down the line before he caught up and eventually won. The applause that followed was deafening. A new fairytale was born in the midst of struggles and hardships, thanks to the indomitable human spirit. But what set these four blind men to run like there was no tomorrow? What drove them to run with such gay abandon? What made them better an Olympic Gold medallist, who at the peak of his career, must surely be among the best athletes in the world? The answer perhaps lies in the antics and rhetoric that the Olympians indulge in. Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the planet and perhaps the biggest showman in the world of sports, is a prime example. Like him, his 100m and 200m rivals soak in the public adulation and spend minutes trying to fire up the crowd before their sprints. (Asked to choose between paralysis and death, Deepa Malik delivers Paralympics Silver) Bolt, in fact, has been pictured, looking back at his opponents with a wide grin on his face, after creating enough gap between him and them for broad daylight to pass through. There is colour in the Olympics and those blessed with vision, cannot resist the temptation to play to the gallery. The blind have no such privilege. They cannot see the pretty girls fawning over them, they cannot see the media jostling for interviews and they cannot see the thousands, who watch with abated breath. Not form them, the luxury of going back to their hotel rooms and reliving their moments of glory, thanks to the several highlights packages on television. The blind are more focussed. Their determination is single-minded and it often borders on the obsessive. That is what the four runners showed on Monday in the Brazilian capital. The world is their stage.advertisementlast_img

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