Paralympic athlete ready to compete
Sixteen male and female Paralympic athletes are in the host city preparing for today’s events.
Though exhibition events are not included in the medal standings, the men’s 400-meter T53 and women’s 800-meter T54 is considered to prelude next year’s London Paralympics.
In the men’s wheelchair race, Richard Colman of Australia, 26, winner of 800-meter race at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, and holder of this year’s second fastest record of 49.93 seconds for 400 meters T53, is likely to take home the gold medal. This year’s top record-setter Li Huzhao of China is absent.
For the Korean spectators, the focus is on Yoo Byung-hoon of Korea, a potential medalist in the race. Yoo, world’s No.5 Paralympic athlete in the 400 meters T53, won a bronze medal in New Zealand in the same event.
“I am expecting a good result from Yoo as he has been breaking his personal official record during recent practice,” said Sung Hee-jun, Yoo’s head coach, Friday, at the Daegu Stadium while Yoo was in training.
The Korean hopeful set a personal best of 49.87 seconds during the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
Another Korean Paralympic athlete Jung Dong-ho will participate in the race.
Meanwhile the women’s event takes place 10 minutes prior to the men’s at 7:45 p.m. The competition between Roy Diane of Canada, 30, and Woods Rochelle of Great Britain, 24, who rank world’s No.2 and No.3 for 800 meters T54, respectively, will be on center stage.
Also considered a potential winner, Manuela Schaer of Switzerland, 26, has the fastest record of 1:50.57 seconds among the participants this year.
Korean Paralympic athlete Kang Kyung-sun, 25, represents the host country in the race.