Cassidy 10th in Paralympic Games 5000m

Ottawa’s Josh Cassidy made his move with three laps to go in the T54 5,000 metre final Sunday. Unfortunately, after sprinting into the lead Cassidy began to fall behind the pace, dropping back to 10th as he crossed the finish line.

Going for it was a tactic that he had planned from the start.

“I made the right choice there, by going to the front,” the 31-year-old said, after posting a 11:09.42. “I was further back and if the sprint happened I wanted to be up there and not pulling.

“As it went crazy, I just got pinched and went back, back, back to where I was before. My sprint even on a medium (soft) track like this isn’t the greatest so I tried to set myself up for the best position and that was it.”

Cassidy is striving for his first Paralympic medal in Rio and will have two more chances for it, racing in the 1,500m T54 heat on Monday and the 800m on Wednesday. The Lion athlete plans to stick to the same preparation.

“I think my prep was great today,” he said. “I had quite a bit of nerves in the semi which is unusual for me. As soon as it was done, completely relaxed, and I felt absolutely great with everything I’ve done so far.”

Also on Sunday, Jason Dunkerley and Josh Karanja finished second in the third heat of the T11 visually impaired 1500-metres to advance to Tuesday’s final. They crossed the line in 4:14.99, “It was a difficult race but we had our plan that we had discussed with our coach to get up hard and to get in a good position. That is what we did today. The competition is so much stronger than when I started 18 years ago, we’re just happy to still be in the mix and that we’re going forward to the final.”