Blackpool Wyre and Fylde’s Towers finishes fifth in Paralympic 800m final

Isaac Towers finished fifth in Rio
Isaac Towers finished fifth in Rio

Isaac Towers did Blackpool Wyre and Fylde Athletic Club proud by finishing fifth in the T34 800m final at his first Paralympics in Brazil.

The 17-year-old wheelchair racer set a new personal best time of 1min, 43.45secs in the final in Rio.

The former AKS pupil had been the slowest of the eight qualifiers from Tuesday’s heats but gave his all in a final which saw the Paralympic record broken for the third time in two days.

Towers’ time was a massive improvement on Tuesday’s 1.47.45 and improved on his previous best of 1.44.67 which won him gold at the European Championships in Irtaly in June.

Towers, based in Catterall, had to endure an anxious wait in the heats to be sure of his qualification but he looked anything but out of place among the world’s finest in the final.

The battle for gold turned into a head to head between Mohamed Alhammadi of the United Arab Emirates and Walid Ktila of Tunisia, and it was Alhammadi who emerged victorious in 1.40.24, smashing the world record he had set the previous day.

He beat Ktila by seven hundredths of a second, with the Australian Rheed McCracken third and Finland’s Henri Manni fourth.

The leading quartet pulled clear of the rest but Towers was a gallant fifth and his efforts delighted his many supporters back on the Fylde coast.

Blackpool Wyre and Fylde AC president Howard Henshaw said: “Isaac is a fantastic ambassador for the club,

“He has a specialist coach now, so we don’t see him as much any more, but he still wears his club colours, which is great to see.

“We’ve got a presentation evening coming up and it would be great to see him back at the club.”

The T34 category is for athletes with cerebral palsy