Competing in his first career Paralympic marathon, Canada’s Brent Lakatos placed fourth on Sunday in Tokyo.
Lakatos, who previously won four silver medals at these Games, crossed the finish line with a personal-best time of one hour 29 minutes 18 seconds, leaving him an agonizing 13 seconds off the podium.
The rainy event, which began at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium before winding through the city streets and eventually finishing where it started, was Lakatos’ sixth of these Games.
Lakatos, 41, was the final Canadian competing at the Tokyo Paralympics. The country concludes its Games with 21 medals, including five gold.
Lakatos had found the podium in the 100 metres, 400m, 800m and 5,000m while missing the final in the 1,500m.
The Dorval, Que., native heads home with 11 career Paralympic medals. One day earlier, he was named Canada’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremony, which begins on Sunday at 6 a.m. ET on CBC-TV, CBCSports.ca and CBC Gem.
Switzerland’s Marcel Hug soared to the gold medal in 1:24:02, with China’s Zhang Yong just behind at 1:24:22. American Daniel Romanchuk pulled in for bronze at 1:29:05.
Lakatos sat in the main chase pack for the bulk of the race as the eventual gold and silver medallists pulled away. With a group of four still tightly bunched at the 40-kilometre mark, the separation began.
It appeared at first that Lakatos might come out ahead, but Romanchuk used an uphill portion of the race to assert himself as the leader of the chase pack, eventually re-entering the stadium hundreds of metres ahead of the Canadian. Ultimately, it was too much ground to make up.
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Lakatos only recently expanded his repertoire to include distance races, having previously stuck mainly to sprint events.
He won both the 2018 Berlin Marathon and 2020 London Marathon, showing that he would be a threat for the podium come Tokyo.
It’s now a quick turnaround before the closing ceremony for Lakatos, who will return once again to the Olympic Stadium in less than 12 hours.
A Paralympics full of near-misses for the Canadian can end with him proudly carrying his country’s flag.