Four Paralympians Just Ran The 1500m Faster Than Anyone In The Olympics

13/09/2016 3:05 AM AEST | Updated 14/09/2016 4:40 AM AEST
Alexandre Loureiro via Getty Images
Silver medalist Tamiru Demisse, gold medalist Abdellatif Baka and bronze medalist Henry Kirwa celebrate on the podium at the medal ceremony for the Men's 1500m - T13 Final.

On Sunday, Fouad Baka of Algeria finished a 1500-meter race in just 3 minutes and 49.59 seconds at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

That’s fast, so fast that if Baka had finished with that time at that exact stadium in August, he would have beat out Matthew Centrowitz Jr. of the U.S. for the Olympic gold medal. Centrowitz Jr. finished the final in 3 minutes and 50 seconds. 

Unfortunately for Baka, he wasn’t racing in the Olympics. He was racing in the Paralympics, where not one or two runners finished ahead of him, but three.

Baka ended up placing fourth in the men’s 1500m - T12/13 Final, a race for the visually impaired. In front of him was bronze medalist Henry Kirwa of Kenya (3:49.59), silver medalist Tamiru Demisse of Ethiopia (3:48.59) and gold medalist Abdellatif Baka, who is the brother of the fourth-place Fouad (3:48.29).

“It wasn’t easy to get this gold medal,” Abdellatif said afterward. “I’ve been working one or two years nonstop and it’s been very, very hard for me.”

Matthew Stockman via Getty Images
Abdellatif Baka of Algeria and Yeltsin Jacques of Brazil lead the pack in the men's 1500 meter T13 Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
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