Oliveira aims to run 49 seconds for 400m gold

Brazilian sprint king is aiming for third world title in Lyon. 26 Jul 2013
Alan Fonteles Oliveira winning the 200m T43 in Lyon

Alan Fonteles Oliveira winning the 200m T43 in Lyon

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Brazil’s Alan Fonteles Oliveira is aiming to complete a hat-trick of sprint world titles this afternoon by running under 50 seconds for the first time in the 400m at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France.

The 20-year old has been one of the undisputed stars of Lyon 2013 - first on Sunday smashing the 200m T43 world record with 20.66 seconds to win gold and then on Tuesday running 10.77 to complete the sprint double.

He is now aiming for a third world title, this time in the 400m, an event he does not specialise in.

Alan Fonteles Oliveira said: “I don’t train for the 400m and I feel sneaky getting into the final. Now that I’m in the final I’m going to fight for the gold medal.

“The first time I ran it was in Guadalajara in 2011 at the Parapan American Games where I won silver. I’ve run it once before in Brazil and also at London. It’s very hard to remember any other 400m I’ve done.”

In today’s final he will face a stiff challenge from the American duo of Blake Leeper and David Prince who recently set the T44 world record. To win Oliveira knows he will have to lower his personal best of 50.50, set in yesterday, and denies that he slowed down after realising he was well ahead.

“I can’t say I’m surprised with my times,” said the 100m and 200m T43 world record holder. “My goal here is to run 49 seconds so if I win gold with this time I’m going to be even happier.

“Yesterday I was completely exhausted. I saw on the big screen, which is very big friend of mine here, that I was well ahead of Leeper. I tried to make it faster but was happy with 50 seconds.”

The men’s 400m T43 will be one of the highlights of the penultimate track session which gets under away live on www.ParalympicSport.TV from 15:30. Oliveira’s race is at 19:17.