Canada’s Nate Riech wins gold in 1,500m at World Para Athletics Championships

Nate Riech

Nate Riech of Victoria has won his third-straight global title in the men’s T38 1,500m.

On Monday afternoon, the 28-year-old middle-distance runner emerged to a decisive win on the final lap, sprinting to gold in 4:03.07 at the 2023 World Para Athletics Championships in Paris.

Riech was the favorite to win gold heading into the race as the defending world and Paralympic champion in the men’s T38 1,500m. He controlled the race from the front for the first few laps before holding off two surging Australian runners with a 58-second final lap. When Riech crossed the finish line, he fist-pumped in glory, winning Canada’s second gold medal at the 2023 World Para Athletics Championships.

Australia’s Reece Langdon and Angus Hincksman took the silver and bronze behind Riech in 4:04.30 and 4:05.18, respectively. This is Riech’s third global gold medal in the T38 1,500m, an event he holds the world record in. Riech’s training partner and compatriot, Liam Stanley, was also in the race, finishing seventh in 4:09.28.

The T38 classification is for athletes with movement and co-ordination affected to a low degree in the lower trunk and legs, whole body or a low to moderate degree down one side. These athletes compensate for reduced co-ordination across the stride, arm drive and overall muscle control, affecting their reaction time and stride pattern.

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Riech was a late bloomer to Para athletics, only beginning to compete internationally in 2018. When he was 10, he was diagnosed with a brain injury that affected the right side of his body.

His gold medal marked Canada’s 14th medal of the Para championships, catapulting Team Canada into the top 15 on the final day of competition. On Saturday, Brent Lakatos secured Canada’s first gold medal of the championships in the men’s T53 800m event.

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