OTTAWA – With no Paralympic Games or world championships in 2018, you could assume that Canada’s wheelchair racing ace Brent Lakatos would balance his training somewhat after spending the previous season rewriting the world record book.
Not a chance.
‘’I’ve been training for marathons and road racing this year,’’ said Lakatos a few hours before he won the men’s 1500m on the track at the 2018 Canadian Track and Field Championships.
‘’I had my first marathon this season at the London Marathon and I was really happy with my performance and my result (10th place).’’
Lakatos, 38, has been Canada’s king of wheelchair racing for the past four years. In 2017, he won four gold medals at the world championships just a few weeks after lowering four world marks. He is currently the world record holder in the 100m, 200m, 800m and 1500m in the T53 disability category.
At the 2016 Paralympic Games, he collected a medal of each colour including gold in the 100m.
‘’I don’t think doing marathons is a more prestigious event in our sport,’’ he said. “It’s just a different challenge for me. There's nothing I love more than racing. It’s exciting.’’
So does that mean we could see Lakatos on the track and marathon at the 2020 Games in Tokyo?
‘’Yes and I’m committed to race in those Games.’’
On Thursday, Lakatos clocked three minutes and 20.79 finishing ahead of another wheelchair racing great Josh Cassidy of Guelph, Ont., second in 3:21.11. Tristan Smyth of Lake Country, B.C. was third in 3:21.30.
‘’It was a tough race,’’ said Lakatos after his win. ‘’Nobody wanted to get out front. I really alternated between saving energy and sprinting. The heat here is just something else and that really affected us.’’
Diane Roy of Sherbrooke, Que., a six-time Paralympian, took the women’s 1500m in three minutes and 53.80 seconds edging Jessica Frotten of Whitehorse, second in 3:53.99.
‘’I still like racing and I’m still dedicated,’’ said Roy, 47, a bronze medallist in the 1500m at the Commonwealth Games this past April. ‘’It definitely makes it harder with opponents like Jessica coming up but I still have good results.’’
Other winners on the track on Thursday included Kyle Whitehouse of St. Catharines, Ont., in the men’s 200m; Jessica Frotten of Whitehorse in the women’s 400m wheelchair race, Austin Smeenk of Mississauga in the men’s T34 400m, Ben Brown of Cambridge, N.S., in the T53 400m and Isaiah Christopher of Mississauga in the T54 400m.
On the field winners included: Pamela Jean of Sydney, N.S. in the women’s seated discus and Greg Stewart of Kamloops, B.C., in men’s shotput.
The Para athletics portion of the competition ends Friday.
Full results: http://liveresults.athletics.ca/Live_Results/2018/Championships/