TOKYO – Thai Olympian Pongsakorn Paeyo set the new world record for wheelchair racing and won the first gold medal for the Thai squad in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Pongsakorn took the lead from the start and won the men’s 400m T53 title with the time of 46.61 seconds, better than the previous world record of 46.82 seconds by Canada’s Brent Lakatos who finished second in 46.75 seconds. Russian Paralympic Committee’s Vitalii Gritsenko came third in 49.41 seconds.
The Thai gold medalist will be in the men’s 100m T53 racing on Sept 1 and the men’s 800m T53 event on Sept 2.
Pongsakorn aka “Korn”, 24, is a native of Khon Kaen province. He had collected two Paralympic gold medals in the men’s 400m T53 and 800m T53 competitions in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. He was also the world champion in the men’s 400m T53 event in the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai in 2019.
He was born with polio which caused permanent paralysis to his legs. He started wheelchair racing at the age of 13.