Paralympic Games
24 August - 5 September 2021

Salu Ageze Kashafali's cheers and tears after 'coming from nothing' to claim gold

Norwegian wins the 100m T12, breaking the world record 29 Aug 2021
 Salum Ageze Kashafali
Salu Ageze Kashafali broke the world record on his way to Tokyo 2020 Paralympic gold

There were cheers and tears from an emotional Salum Ageze Kashafali as he celebrated winning the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic gold medal in the 100m T12 by breaking his own world record.

Kashafali, who spent his childhood in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo before escaping to Norway, ran 10.43 seconds.

“I don’t know what to say, man (begins to cry). I came from nothing. I came from begging on the streets. I believed.

"I moved to Norway as a refugee. I have been through so much, from bullets to hunger, and to be here as one of the best means a lot to me.

“It is worth it. To come from zero to something - that is how to put it.

“Everything is possible.”

Kashafali finished ahead of USA's sprinter Noah Malone (10.66) and Roman Tarasov (10.88) of the Russian Paralympic Committee.

He added: “The goal was to win a medal. I know I am quick, but I didn’t expect to run that fast. That was just a bonus.

"I’m very happy to be one of the fastest Paralympians ever. It is about pushing the boundary to compete.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet. I don’t know when it is going to sink in - maybe in a few weeks.”