Africa is performing remarkably well at the Paralympics Games in Rio, with seven percent of the medals thus far. A far more impressive great African story is the the outstanding feat by four African Paralympians. The four crossed the finish line in the men’s 1500m final (T13 category-visual impairment) in a time that would have been fast enough to win the gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
African Paralympians continue to shine at the ongoing games in Rio, Brazil. Algeria’s Abdellatif Baka on Sunday (11 September) set a new world record winning the men’s 1500m final in the T13 category (visual impairment). Baka powered home to clinch the gold medal in three minutes and 48.29 seconds.
The race will go down in history for producing four stars, who recorded great times, even better than the winner of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The first four athletes to cross the finish line in that race recorded times that would have been fast enough to win the gold medal at the Rio Olympics.
In the race, Baka ran three minutes and 48.29 seconds and Ethiopia’s Tamiru Demisse, clinched silver in 3:48.49 and Kenya’s Henry Kirwa won bronze (3:49.59). Algeria’s Fouad Baka (who incidentally is Abdellatif’s brother) came fourth, crossing the finish line in 3.49.84.
In August’s Olympic Games, the USA’s Matthew Centrowitz won gold in the men’s 1500m event in a time of 3.50:00.
The achievement by these Paralympian athletes is not only inspirational but is testament to the important message, disability is not inability. The accomplishment highlights that one’s physical condition cannot stop them from achieving greatness, and through determination, passion and hard work we can all achieve our aspirations.
We celebrate this remarkable achievement by the four African athletes. The feat resonates with the statement, regardless of your physical condition you can achieve your dreams, and as Lupita Nyong’o once said “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid”.
Congratulatory messages on social media about the historic and memorable accomplishment continue to pour in.