Okinawa’s Ueyonabaru 4th in Rio Paralympics 1,500m
45-year-old Hirokazu Ueyonabaru, a native of Okinawa, grabbed the fourth place in the men’s 1,500-meter T52-class wheelchair race on the 9th day of the Rio 2016 Paralympics athletics held at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Ueyonabaru’s time was 3 minutes 54.04 seconds, with which he was only 0.08 seconds behind the 3rd place Pichaya Kurattanasiri of Thailand. After the race final, Ueyonabaru was once upgraded to the third place to win the bronze medal when Tomoki Sato, who came in the 2nd place was disqualified. However, Sato was reinstated after Japan team’s protest, and Ueyonabaru was confirmed to be the 4th.
Ueyonabaru is taking part in his third consecutive Paralympics. His first appearance was in Beijing where he won the silver medal in the men’s T52 marathon. Earlier at Rio Paralympics he was the 6th in the 400-meter final, and was eliminated from the final of the 100-meter race.