The Lakatos lineup: Canadian Paralympian competing in events from 100m to marathon

·5 min read
The Lakatos lineup: Canadian Paralympian competing in events from 100m to marathon
Canada's Brent Lakatos, right, competes in the men's T53 5,000 metres at the Tokyo Paralympics. The race is one of many in which he's entered in Tokyo, ranging from the 100m to the marathon. (Ivan Alvarado/Reuters - image credit)
Canada's Brent Lakatos, right, competes in the men's T53 5,000 metres at the Tokyo Paralympics. The race is one of many in which he's entered in Tokyo, ranging from the 100m to the marathon. (Ivan Alvarado/Reuters - image credit)

Brent Lakatos is out to prove the phrase "jack of all trades, master of none" false.

The Canadian Paralympic wheelchair racer is entered in six events in Tokyo, ranging from the 100-metre dash to the marathon. Steph Curry wishes he had that kind of range.

Although he did not qualify for the final in the 1,500m heats on Monday, Lakatos is showing his busy schedule is not just some gimmick either, having won silver in four events — the 100m, 400m, 800m and 5,000m.

Lakatos, of Dorval, Que., already owned seven Paralympic medals entering Tokyo, including gold in the 100m five years ago in Rio. The longest distance in which he had previously reached the podium was the 800m, when he took silver at London 2012. He's the current world record holder in the T53 100m, 800m and 1,500m too.

It's only at 41 years old in Tokyo that Lakatos is attempting to run the full athletics gamut.

For Lakatos, the three R's are rest, race and recovery. He's competing in T53 and T54 events, which features athletes who have limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement.

In his fifth Paralympics, Lakatos has reinvented himself as an endurance racer.

"I know sprints to marathon is an unusual transition, but I did some research and decided I had a chance," he said.

He won both the 2018 Berlin Marathon and 2020 London Marathon. But his endurance will be truly tested in Tokyo, as his longest race will also be his last.

Here's Lakatos' lengthy lineup:

Friday, Aug. 27

Lakatos' Paralympics begin with 5,000m qualifying. He places second in his heat with a season-best time of 10 minutes 15.15 seconds.

Saturday, Aug. 28

A slower final means Lakatos can collect his eighth career Paralympic medal with his second-place showing in a time of 10:30.19. It's his first medal in a T54 event, and his first in a race longer than 800 metres.

"It was a great race. I had tons of fun out there. It was really strategic. I got myself in a great spot and gave myself a chance to win and it almost happened," he said.

WATCH | Lakatos collects 5,000m silver:

Sunday, Aug. 29

Lakatos wins his T53 400m heat in 48 seconds flat — more than a full second off the world record of 46.82 seconds he carried into Tokyo.

The final, run later that day, proves to be a different beast entirely. A two-horse race between Lakatos and Thailand's Pongsakorn Paeyo goes in favour of the latter as both improve upon the Canadian's previous world mark, with Paeyo ultimately edging Lakatos by 14 one-hundredths of a second.

"Right now, I'm frustrated because I thought that what I did would be good enough for gold. I really wanted to bring home gold after the silver yesterday and it was just short," Lakatos said.

WATCH | Lakatos takes 400m silver:

Monday and Tuesday Aug. 30-31

Qualifying for the T54 1,500m happened on Monday afternoon in Japan. But Lakatos, who set a world record in the event at 2:51.84 in 2017, missed out on the finals.

It was the first time he raced the event on the Paralympic stage. The top three in each of the two heats, plus the next four fastest, advanced.

Most of the racers in the 1,500m final, which will go Tuesday in Japan, finished under the three-minute time mark. But Lakatos finished in three minutes 3.72 seconds, placing fifth in his heat.

At a World Cup in May, Lakatos stumbled to fifth in the event with a time well over three minutes.

Wednesday, Sept. 1

Lakatos claims both the world record (14.10 seconds) and Paralympic record (14.43) in the 100m, and he'll aim to defend gold beginning Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET (Wednesday morning in Japan).

Lakatos claimed both the world record (14.10 seconds) and Paralympic record (14.43) in the 100m entering Day 8's final.

The latter record fell to Thailand's Paeyo (14.20 seconds), who outpaced the field to take gold after beating Lakatos by 0.35 seconds.

The Canadian clinched the silver medal — his third of these Games.

The podium appearance makes Lakatos the 10th Canadian with double-digit Paralympic medals

WATCH | Lakatos wins 100m silver:

Thursday, Sept. 2

Lakatos was back at the track for the T53 800m, where he surged to his fourth silver medal of the Games after clocking in with a time of 1:36.32.

On a wet and rainy day at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium, where the weather played a significant factor during competition, Thailand's Paeyo again managed to get the better of Lakatos — claiming gold with a Paralympic record time of 1:36.07.

Despite finishing behind his competitive nemesis at these Games once again, Lakatos still maintains a firm grip on the world record in the distance after posting a mind-boggling time of 1:31.69 in 2019.

Lakatos booked his spot in the final by racing to a time of 1:42.29 during heats.

WATCH | Lakatos soars to 4th silver of Tokyo Games:

Sunday, Sept. 5

Yes, that's two full days off for Lakatos to rest before the marathon begins on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. ET (Sunday morning in Japan). It's the final day of competition at the Tokyo Paralympics.

No matter what happens until then, the marathon should prove to be a solid capper on what could be Lakatos' final Games.

One can only imagine the Canadian's schedule after that will include plenty of sleep.

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