Earlier tonight in Dubai, Saudi Arabia’s Saud Alwani lept across the finish line and into gold in men’s T37 400 meters at the 2016 IPC Athletics Asia-Oceania Championships.
Saudi Arabia’s Saud Alwani had been trailing Thailand’s Sakphet Saewant for most of the race. But with about 150 meters left to go and coming around the last bend, Alwani turns on the gas. He is hugging the inside line and watching him you think he is going to get called for a lane violation at the end of the race because of it. He catches Saewang with about 10 meters left to go but his form has gone all to crap. Saewang appears to sense his gold medal slipping out of his grasp and his upright great form appears to go but not as badly as Alwani. With the last few steps, while watching, you can sense that Alwani is not going to stay upright and is going to meet pavement within feet of the finish. And he does as you can get from the sense of the photo finish. Alwani just tosses his whole body over that line in a diving header.
18-year-old Alwani’s gold medal winning time of 1:01.10 was the world record of 50.91 set by Russia’s Andrey Vdovin at the IPC European Athletics Championships in 2014. The time was good enough to put it inside the 2016 Paralympic B-Qualifying window, which requires a time faster than 1:02.50. The gold medal adds to another Alwani won earlier, this one silver in the men’s T37 100 meters. He also had a fifth place finish in the men’s T36-T38 long jump. He still has the men’s T37 200 meters left to go on his program.