The men’s T11 400m final at the World Para Athletics Championships saw some astonishing drama on Tuesday night.
The T11 category is for athletes who have ‘very low visual acuity and/or no light perception’. For the 400m, each competitor has a guide running beside them on the track.
Four competitors – eight individuals in total – lined up for the final at London Stadium last night. By the finish of the race, two athletes would be disqualified.
As the race entered the home straight, it was Brazilian world record holder Daniel Silva who held the advantage from France’s Timothee Adolphe. In third was Paralympic champion Gerard Descarrega Puigdevall of Spain with China’s Dongdong Di in fourth.
Silva would begin to slow at the finish line approach. With it looking like Adolphe would easily take the gold, he too would begin to struggle, eventually falling to the track.
From an unlikely position in the closing moments of the race, it was Descarrega Puigdevall who would win the race.
Adolphe and Silva would both be disqualified, both due to infractions involving their guides.
The Frenchman was disqualified as his guide had crossed the finish line before him, the Brazilian as his guide had pulled him forward in the latter stages of the race.
It was eventually the Chinese runner who would be awarded the silver.