Japan can start celebrating after Takayuki Suzuki delivered a first gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Suzuki, who admitted he feared fatigue would take a toll, won the men’s 100m freestyle S4 in a Paralympic record of 1:21:58, but did not even realise at first.
“I couldn’t see the moment I had finished the race, so I didn’t know if I was in first place, but when I saw on the score board that I was in first place, I was so happy,” Suzuki said.
“I have been racing since yesterday, so I was worried about fatigue, but I tried to be confident, and I hoped I could increase my speed without straining myself. In the last 25m, my competitor was in front and then he started to fall, so I tried not to fall.”
Suzuki has had a long wait to add to his first Paralympic Games gold medal, which came in the 50m breaststroke SB3 at Beijing 2008.