Wheelchair racer Pongsakorn Paeyo broke the world record as he won Thailand’s first gold medal at the Paralympic Games at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday.
Thailand’s wait for its first gold medal at the Covid-delayed tournament ended on day five of competition after the 24-year-old from Khon Kaen retained his 400m T53 title with a time of 46.61, breaking Canadian Brent Lakatos’ old mark of 46.82 set in June 2019.
Pongsakorn, who also set a new Paralympic record of 47.31 earlier in the day, won both the T53 400m and 800m events at the Rio Paralympic Games five years ago.
Lakatos came second in 46.75 while Vitalii Gritsenko of the Russian Paralympic Committee was third in 49.41.
Pichet Krungget, the other Thai in the race, finished fifth in 49.96.
Former world champion Pongsakorn will defend his 800m T53 title on Thursday.
Another Thai wheelchair racer Athiwat Paeng-nuea missed out on a 400m T54 gold medal by a fraction of a second as Daniel Romanchuk of the United States crossed the finish line in 45.72 while the 18-year-old Thai clocked 45.73.
It was a disappointment for Paralympic debutant Athiwat, who set a new Games’ record of 44.87 in the heat.
China’s Dai Yungquiang was third on 46.20 while two other Thais Saichon Konjen and Putharet Khongrak, who won the T54 5,000m bronze on Saturday, came fourth and eighth respectively.
High jumper Angkarn Chanaboon finished seventh in the men’s T47 final with a leap of 1.89m. The gold medal went to Roderick Townsend with a new world record of 2.15m.
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