Dorval, Quebec’s Brent Lakatos delivered yet another emphatic statement that he is the T53 wheelchair racer to beat at the 2016 Summer Paralympics by dominating the 100-metre competition at the London Anniversary Games on Saturday.
The three-time silver medalist at the 2012 Paralympics in London crossed the finish line in 14.31 seconds — a comfortable margin ahead of Brazil’s Ariosvaldo Fernandes da Silva (14.72) and the defending Paralympic gold medalist Mickey Bushell (14.97) of Britain. Ben Brown, a native of Cambridge N.S., completed the race in 15.87 to finish in fifth place.
Lakatos’ result on Saturday was not a personal best. His career best result of 14.17 was established at an International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Grand Prix competition in Notwill, Switzerland in May 2014.
This was the final major Paralympic tune-up for the 36-year-old, who is arguably Canada’s best shot to win a gold medal in track and field at the upcoming Games. He will now settle into a final block of training near his home in London prior to departing for Rio in late August.
It is expected that Lakatos will contend for the gold medal in the 100, 200, 400 and 800-metre events in Brazil.
Josh Cassidy (Guelph, Ont.) also impressed on Saturday by finishing fourth place in the T54 race with a time of 3:22.10. Switzerland’s Marcel Hug won the race in 3:19.73. Cassidy, who won three silver medals at the 2015 Parapan American Games, will be joined by fellow Canadians Alexandre Dupont (Clarenceville, Que.) and Tristan Smyth (Lake Country, B.C.).
Photo credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee