Lakatos, Smeenk break Canadian records to podium at 2023 World Para Athletics Championships

Canadian Paralympic Committee

July 11, 2023

Silver and bronze medals bring Canadian total to four through three days

Lakatos worlds

PARIS – At age 43, Brent Lakatos cranked it up another notch at the 2023 World Para Athletics Championships.

The amazing Dorval, Que. wheelchair racer won the silver medal on Tuesday in the men’s T53 400m in record time. He broke both his continental and Canadian marks in the event and it took a world record performance to beat him.

Pongsakorn Paeyo of Thailand won the gold medal in 46.11 seconds which eclipsed his previous world mark of 46.61 set at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021. Lakatos smashed his previous best of 46.75 clocking 46.22. Brian Siemann of the U.S. was third in 48.30.

‘’It’s a huge personal best so I’m happy about that,’’ said Lakatos. ‘’If the race was five metres longer, I think I would have had him.’’

Lakatos, a five-time Paralympian, is competing at his seventh world championships and upped his career medal count at worlds to 16 (11 gold, three silver and two bronze). He is also scheduled to compete this week in the 800m and 1500m.

‘’It’s great to come back so quickly into good shape, I’m really excited about that,’’ he said. ‘’If I can PB [personal best] here I can try and do it even better next year at the Paralympic Games.”

First career medal for veteran Austin Smeenk

While Lakatos has been collecting medals steadily throughout his career, Austin Smeenk of Mississauga, Ont. proved to be a model of perseverance as he earned his first career medal in five appearances at worlds. He took the bronze in the men’s T34 400m wheelchair race.

Chaiwatt Rattana of Thailand lowered his world record to 48.65 with Mohamed Alhammadi of UAE second in 49.21 and Smeenk third in 49.32 which bettered his Canadian and continental records from 49.60.

‘’Bronze medal tastes pretty sweet right now,’’ said Smeenk, 26, a two-time Paralympian. ‘’I had an awesome start, came around the backside straight with power and intensity. I knew I was carrying good speed coming into the straightaway.’’

Canada’s medal count is now at one silver and three bronze. Those medal performances also gain quota spots for Canada for next year’s Paralympic Games.

In the women’s T47 100m final, Sheriauna Haase of Toronto was fifth breaking her Canadian record clocking 12.42.

The event continues in Paris through July 17. CBC Sports is streaming the event on, CBC Gem and the CBC Sports app for mobile devices. The schedule is available here:

Can Crew Newsletter

Receive the latest news, athlete stories, and behind-the-scenes access directly to your inbox.

"*" indicates required fields