Ottawa’s Jason Dunkerley withstood overwhelming heat to race to a second-place finish in the T11 5000-metre race at the IPC world championships on Monday in Doha, Qatar.
Dunkerley, 38, a four-time Paralympian who won gold and silver at the 2015 Parapan Am Games in Toronto in August, was in third place with less than two laps remaining. Brazil’s Odair Santos had a huge lead as he was pursued by Cristian Valenzuela of Chile and Dunkerley, running with his guide Joshua Karanja in the visually impaired event.
But Santos collapsed on the final lap as Valenzuela came down the final stretch to take gold. Santos rose from the track only to fall again as Dunkerley moved up to claim second place.
“I am happy how Josh and I ran. We represented ourselves and our training,” Dunkerley said. “We wanted to win and we did the best we could. We are going back, rest and come back next year even stronger.”
Now within metres of the finish, Santos fell for a third time as his guide watched helplessly. That allowed Shinya Wada of Japan to finish third, while Santos finally crossed the line in fourth place.
Eight runners and guides started the race in sweltering conditions in Doha with only five runners completing the event.