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 Blake Leeper.
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.