Paralympian Overcomes Wheelchair Sabotage Attempt by Competitor to Win Gold at Tokyo Paralympics 2020

Published 09/04/2021, 1:35 PM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games – Athletics – Men’s 100m – T51 Final – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – September 3, 2021. Peter Genyn of Belgium celebrates after winning gold and setting a new Paralympic record REUTERS/Thomas Peter


After the Olympics 2020, Tokyo Paralympics 2020 is also coming to its end. The closing ceremony will be on the 5th of September 2021. Paralympians from all around the world are putting in all their efforts and energy to reach the Paralympic podium.

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The stories and journeys of Paralympians are in themselves inspiring, but the Belgian star achieved something unexpected. Peter Genyn had a dramatic victory as he overcame sabotage to his chair before the match.

Flat tire and the broken chair did not stop Peter from defending his title

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Two-time gold medalist at Rio Olympics 2016, Belgian star Peter Genyn came to defend his titles in Tokyo. Peter had clinched gold medals in 100m T51 and 400m T51 wheelchair sprinting events.

Interestingly, he started his Para journey as a wheelchair rugby player and later on shifted to track and field. When the 44-year-old showed up for the pre-race warm-up, he found his chair damaged and broken. There were three flat tires and a broken compensator. Even the day before the match, his wheelchair’s front tire was found flat.

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games – Athletics – Men’s 100m – T51 Final – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – September 3, 2021. Peter Genyn of Belgium in action REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Thankfully, the Paralympic champion came well prepared to win and had spares. With the help of duct tape and last moment changes in his chair, Genyn went ahead to win the 100m race and successfully defended his title.

It was the courage and determination of Peter that helped him win, despite the sabotage. His coach and the German wheelchair company Ottobock, helped him repair the wheelchair quickly.

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New Paralympic record established by Peter at Tokyo Paralympics 2020

The 44-year-old Belgian was an unstoppable force and was ready to face any uncertainty, even his jealous competitors. After repairing his broken wheelchair with whatever was available, Peter not only clinched the gold but also established a new Paralympic record. In the 100m T51 race, he won the race clocking a time of 20.33 seconds.

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games – Athletics – Men’s 100m – T51 Final – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – September 3, 2021. Peter Genyn of Belgium in action REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Interestingly, he was just 0.52 short of the world record, which is also in his name. After winning the race, Peter got emotional, which was more than justified given all the struggles he had faced. Peter also won the silver medal in the 200m T51 race.

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Shreya Verma

212 articles

Shreya Verma is an NBA and Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. A graduate of Political Science, Shreya comes from a strong sports background. A professional 10m air pistol shooter, Shreya is also a tennis enthusiast.

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