When Algeria’s Abdellataif Baka crossed the finish line in the men’s T13 1500m at the Paralympics on Sunday, he not only broke the T13 world record, but he also ran a time that would have won the same distance at the Rio Olympics three weeks earlier.
It’s certainly not unprecedented for Paralympians in some classes to outperform Olympians — just look at long jumper Markus Rehm — and the Olympic men’s 1500m final was tactically very slow with the slowest winning time since the 1932 London Games.
The T13 class is one of three Paralympic classes for athletes with visual impairments — T11, T12, T13. The higher the number, the less severe the impairment.
Not only did Baka beat Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz‘s time, but so did the second- through fourth-place finishers in Baka’s race.
The results from the Paralympic T13 1500m final:
GOLD: Baka — 3:48.29
SILVER: Tamiru Demisse, Ethiopia — 3:48.49
BRONZE: Henry Kirwa, Kenya — 3:49.59
Fourth: Fouad Baka, Algeria — 3:49.84
Olympic 1500m final:
GOLD: Centrowitz — 3:50.00
SILVER: Taoufik Makfhloufi, Algeria — 3:50.11
BRONZE: Nick Willis, New Zealand — 3:50.24
Keep in mind that the fastest 1500m race this year, in Monaco on July 15, had the top seven finishers at 3:32.13 and faster.
Centrowitz won the U.S. Olympic Trials in 3:34.09 on July 10.Follow @nbcolympictalk