The top four placegetters in in the men’s T-13 class 1500 metre race at Rio Paralympics have run faster than the gold medal winner America's Matthew Centrowitz at the Olympics last month.
The athletes in the T13 race — a category for runners who are legally blind but with the least visual impairment — certainly did not leave anything in the tank, setting off at pace and maintaining a high speed throughout.
Abdellatif Baka of Algeria won gold in a time of 3:48.29, while silver medal-winner Tamiru Demisse of Ethiopia (3:48.59), bronze medalist Henry Kirwa of Kenya (3:49.59) and fourth-placed Fouad Baka of Algeria (3:49.84) all also raced faster than Centrowitz.
Baka crossed the line in a time of three minutes and 48.29 seconds to win gold, with American Olympic champion Centrowicz only managing three minutes and 50.00 seconds at the Olympic Games last month.
But the race won by Centrowitz was remarkable for its lack of pace — it was the slowest gold medal-winning time since 1932.
The 1,500m is traditionally a highly tactical contest — a cat-and-mouse game subject to the strategies of the competitors and the conditions of the day.