PREVIEW: Lakatos attempting to win fourth athletics medal in Tokyo

Canadian takes the track for men's T53 800m event

Brent Lakatos competing in men's Paralympic T53 100-metre qualifying heats at Japan National Stadium in Tokyo. His fourth of six events at the 2020 Games.  ATHLETICS CANADA

Brent Lakatos will continue his gold medal pursuit tonight on Thursday morning in Tokyo.

The Canadian wheelchair racer is set to compete in the men’s T53 800-metre event, taking lane three in his qualifying heat (Wednesday evening, Eastern Time).

Participating in his fifth event in Tokyo, Lakatos has already won silver medals in the T53 100- and 400-metre and T54 5,000-metre events.

The Dorval, Que. native will take a tactical approach to the two-lap race.

“In the 800 metres, I can influence the race because it’s in a peloton,” said Lakatos. “I can use my experience and my strategy, and I have some good strategies I can use.”

The 41-year-old currently holds the world record in this specific event, setting a time of 1:31.91 at the Swiss Nationals back in June 2019.

Lakatos won the bronze in Rio in 2016 and before that had won silver in London in 2012.  

More recently, he won the 800-metre race at both the 2019 IPC World Championship and an event in Nottwil, Switzerland in May 2021.

The now 10-time Paralympic medalist has recently focused on his longer distance events, providing what he feels is a slight advantage against his competitors.

“I can also use my endurance,” said Lakatos. “I think I have the best endurance out of the field. So, there are a lot of strengths that I can rely upon and I’m going to use them to their fullest.”

Also competing is Pongsakorn Paeyo of Thailand, who has already won gold in both the men’s T53 100- and 400-metre races earlier in the week. Besides Lakatos, Paeyo holds the fastest personal best time (1:32.10) in the field.

The top three competitors in each qualifying heat will automatically advance to the finals with the next two fastest times (from either heat) rounding out the field.

Lakatos is competing in the first heat at 10:21 p.m. ET, and pending qualification, he will be back on the track Thursday morning at 7:03 a.m. for the finals.

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Posted: Sep 1 2021 6:55 pm
Filed under: Athletics Parasports Sports Tokyo Paralympics