Wheelchair sprinter overcomes sabotage to take gold in Tokyo

Belgium has taken both gold and bronze at in the 100-metre sprint event at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Despite another competitor having punctured three of his three tyres and having damaged the frame of his racing wheelchair Peter Genyn took gold. He only discovered that his wheelchair had been vandalised 45 minutes before the race. 

Peter Genyn’s time of 20.33 seconds meant that as in Rio 5 years ago he is Paralympic Champion in the 100-metre sprint event. Another Belgian Roger Habsch took bronze. Previously Peter Genyn and Roger Habsch had already taken silver and bronze respectively in the 100-metre event.

Genyn’s biggest rival for gold in the 100 metres was the Fin Toni Piispanen. Piispanen had already taken gold in the 200-metre sprint and was favourite to win the 100 metres.

The world record holder Genyn and fellow-Belgian Habsch got off to a strong start leaving Piispanen a short distance behind them. Gold and silver for Belgian looked a very distinct possibility mid-way into the race. However, Piispanen edged just ahead of Habsch in an exciting finish.

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