On June 22, Paralympic sprinter Patrick “Blake” Leeper became the first person with bilateral lower-limb amputations to compete against able-bodied athletes in the USA Track & Field (USATF) championships, held in Sacramento, California, where he broke a world record. Leeper ran the 400m sprint, logging a time of 45.519 seconds—which was faster than half of the 32 total competitors and allowed him to advance to the semifinals the next day.
Photograph courtesy of Independent Sports & Entertainment.
In the semifinals, he ran the 400m sprint in 45.25 seconds, garnering the T43 world record; the T43 classification includes athletes with bilateral transtibial amputations. Leeper bested the T43 world record of 45.39, previously held by Oscar Pistorius, a Paralympic sprinter from South Africa.