With four silver medals already in his pocket, Brent Lakatos produced an impressive fourth-place finish in the men’s T54 wheelchair marathon in the last event with a Canadian athlete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Marcel Hug of Switzerland collected a fourth gold in Tokyo clocking the 42-kilometre race in one hour, 24 minutes and two seconds. Yong Zhang of China battled Hug to the end for the silver in 1:24.22.
Another pack of four racers chased the bronze in the final stretch with Daniel Romanchuk of the U.S. taking the bronze in 1:29.05 and the 41-year-old Lakatos placing fourth 1:29:18, which is a new personal best for the Canadian.
“It was physically grueling,” said Lakatos, who will be Canada’s Closing Ceremony flag bearer on Sunday evening in Tokyo. “It was also extremely frustrating because no one wanted to work together. I tried to chase down the leaders for the longest time. Then when the two Americans caught me, I asked if they wanted to work together as a pack of four, if we all worked together, we could eat up some of that time.”
As they approached the last hill with less than two kilometres to go, Romanchuk made his move, creating some separation from the pack and taking that last spot on the podium.
“I think I did absolutely everything I could,” Lakatos said. ‘’I knew that hill was going to come at the end and Daniel is the best hill climber in the world and I’m one of the worst hill climbers in that field, being a T53.
When the hill came, he used his strength and he was just waiting for that moment, so he was able to open up a gap I couldn’t close.”
Still Lakatos equaled his medal total from Rio 2016 with four medals over the past 12 days. He was second in the 100m, 400m, 800m and 5000m. He now has 11 career medals in five Paralympic Games.