Streimikyte Battles to 5th Place Finish
Greta Streimikyte, Ireland’s first athlete on the track, suffered Paralympic heartbreak a second time when she finished fifth, in a time of 4:34.82, in an extremely fast and tactical T13 1500m final. Having finished fourth in Rio in 2016 and lowering her personal best to 4:29.33 this season she had high hopes of a podium finish but, in the 32 degree heat and 53% humidity, never looked her usual smooth self.
The race was quickly strung out by Ethiopian debutant Gezahagn Menigstu but the Dubliner bravely overtook the defending champion Somaya Bousaid with 300m to go, only for the Tunisian and Veronika Zotova (RPC) to come back and round her before the final bend in an eventful last lap. Menigstu (21) and America’s silver medallist Liza Corso both ran personal bests of 4:23.24 and 4:30.67 and 2016 champion Bousaid got up to take bronze. “I’m very disappointed. I’ve run faster than that this season but it just wasn’t there tonight. I really tried so I have no regrets but I just don’t know what happened because I know I have more in me than this. “I was fighting for bronze and I clipped the Tunisian and then a girl fell. There was a bit of drama on the track but that’s what happens when we’re all fighting for that medal but in the end it’s only the fastest that matters. “I really went for it on the back straight because I saw the girl in second. I thought I can catch her, but then another girl came from nowhere and I knew I was done, even though I tried to keep going all the way through the finish line. I left it all out there.”
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