Tokyo, Japan, September 1, 2021: It rained gold for Thailand at the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday, September 1.
First, Pongsakorn Paeyo claimed gold with a personal best of 14.30 seconds in the men’s 100m T53 event. Immediately after that, compatriot wheelchair racer Athiwat Paeng-Nua clinched gold in the men’s 100m T54 with an Asian record of 13.76.
It was the second gold medal for Paeyo at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, having won the men’s 400m T53 event earlier in the week.
“I had won silver in Rio and now gold here, so it’s a great relief and I’m really excited. It’s another gold for me and for Thailand. It is a great honour. To see our nation’s flag go up is truly special,” said Paeyo, who finished ahead of Canada’s world record holder Brent Lakatos and Saudi Arabia’s Abdulrahman Al Quraishi.
Paeyo will now be looking to complete a hat-trick of titles in Tokyo when he competes in the men’s 800m T53 final.
“I was confident of getting the gold medals as I’ve worked hard for this. I’m hoping to win a third gold in the 800m. I will try my best,” said Paeyo.
He added: “I’m confident that these golds will prove meaningful for the sport in my country. The Paralympics are the biggest competition and now I have performed on the biggest stage. I hope it will inspire young people to get into the sport.”
Victory for teammate Paeng-Nua, meanwhile, could not have been sweeter as he ended the long-lasting reign of Finland’s Pekka Leo Tahti, who has been ruling the sport ever since he won a gold medal at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.
“I’m really happy to win here and all credit to my training. There is no secret to our success, it is just working hard and trying to keep improving,” Paeng-Nua said.