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Edged at the finish line, Canada’s Lakatos claims silver at Para athletics worlds

Canada’s Brent Lakatos is back on a familiar step of the podium.

The Dorval, Que., native, who gained four silver medals at the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics, claimed another silver medal on Tuesday in the T53 400-metre wheelchair race at the Para athletics world championships in Paris.

Lakatos and Thailand’s Pongsakorn Paeyo pulled away from the rest of the pack early, but the latter started slightly faster than the Canadian and held on through the finish line, setting a world-record time of 46.11 seconds to claim gold. Lakatos’ time of 46.22 represented a North American record and bested the previous world mark.

“If the race was another five metres longer I think I would have had him, but it’s great to come back so quickly into such good shape,” Lakatos said. “If I can PB here I’m gonna try to do even better next year in Paris.”

American Brian Siemann took bronze with a personal-best time of 48.30 seconds.

Lakatos, 43, owns 10 career Paralympic medals, including one gold in the 100m in 2016.

Paeyo is the reigning Paralympic champion in the 100m, 400m and 800m, while Lakatos concluded second in all three disciplines.

Meanwhile, fellow Canadian Austin Smeenk earned bronze in the T34 400m wheelchair race.

The feat marked Smeenk’s first career major international championship podium.

“Rose gold tastes pretty sweet right now,” the Oakville, Ont., native said after the race.

Smeenk, 26, topped his previous personal best set in February with a time of 49.32 seconds. Thailand’s Chaiwat Rattana won gold with a world-record 48.65 seconds, while Mohamed Alhammadi of the United Arab Emirates took silver at 49.21 seconds.

Steve Carr

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