DUBAI – Wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos is competing at his sixth career World Para Athletics Championships this week and he is just as excited as if it is his first one.
‘’This is what it’s all about for me,’’ said Lakatos. ‘’I love racing and these are the moments I live for.’’
At the last worlds in 2017, Lakatos was one of the biggest stars with victories in the 100, 200, 400 and 800 metre races. He was also a quadruple medallist in 2013 and 2015, including three gold each time, and reached the podium in 2006 and 2011.
He has competed at the last four Paralympic Games earning seven medals including his first career gold at Rio 2016.
The 2019 worlds are a big test for Lakatos since it hasn’t been his smoothest season.
‘’It’s been a rough season,’’ he admitted. ‘’It’s been the first season where I struggled with health type issues. It’s been a challenge to try and get back into shape and suffer another blowback and get back in shape again.
‘’But I’m here and ready.’’
He has already started off in a big way. The world recordholder in the event, he won gold in the T53 100m in a time of 14.59 seconds on Friday.
Having the worlds in Dubai represents its unique challenges but Lakatos isn’t going to be thrown off his game plan.
‘’I like the heat,’’ said Lakatos, 39. ‘’I find your muscles are looser, you can perform better. It’s much better than in cool weather so this isn’t a problem.
“But the time of year is kind of awkward especially with the Paralympic Games coming so quickly at the end of August. So, you really can’t have a down time to let your body recover.’’
With his vast experience and success, there’s no doubt Lakatos knows what it takes to be ready when it counts the most.
The World Para Athletics Championships are the largest Para sport event to be held before the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and run from November 7 to 15 in Dubai. More than 1,400 athletes from almost 120 nations are competing.
Viewers will be able to follow the action via the free CBC Gem streaming service, cbcsports.ca, the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices, and CPC Facebook page, as well as the Radio-Canada Sports app and radio-canada.ca/sports.
For the broadcast schedule, please visit Paralympic.ca/Paralympic-Super-Series.