With one gold medal finally in the bag, wheelchair racer Brent Lakatos will have no time to rest as he gears up for this weekend’s highly contested 400 metre battle.
The 36-year-old says he’s “looking forward to redeeming himself“ after the World championships in Doha last year, where he finished second behind Li Huzhao of China.
“It’s going to be a tight race,” Lakatos said from the Olympic Stadium in Rio Friday morning. “He got me at the World Championships last year, then there is another Chinese athlete that beat him in another race. It’s going to be a close race and a real fight.”
With a goal of winning three medals coming into these Games, the four time Paralympian is currently ranked number one in the 400m after setting a 47.83 second personal best back in July.
“I never thought I’d see a 47 next to my name,” the now four-time Paralympic medalist tweeted after the race in London, England where he lives with his wife, fellow Paralympian Stef Reid of the team from Great Britain.
Lakatos, who says he’s in the best shape of his life, broke the ice for his loaded four event Games schedule this morning with a 100-metre wheelchair Paralympic record. But he had no time to relish in his accomplishment as he raced to the long jump pit to watch his wife compete in the T44 amputee long jump.
“I just want her to go far,” Lakatos said after Reid’s event where she finished with a silver medal. “It’s easy when I’m racing because I’m in control, but watching her is difficult because there’s nothing I can do.”
It was famously reported during the London 2012 that the couple had made a bet that whoever wins the first gold medal would have to do the dishes, however, this year, it looks as though all bets are off.
“I had more chances to win than her,” joked Lakatos about Reid who is entered in only the one event. “She didn’t want to take that bet this year.”
Lakatos’ mother Barb Payson, who along with other family members travelled from Montreal to watch the couple compete, seemed to have solution to the rivalry.
“I’m going to have to buy them paper plates,” she joked.
The 400 metre heats kick off on Saturday evening with the finals happening Sunday morning.
Story and Photo from the Canadian Paralympic Committee | Paralympic.ca