A man from Aurangabad became the first visually-impaired Indian to finish an Ironman triathlon in Dubai that involved swimming, bicycling and running.
Niket Dalal, 38, achieved the race with his sighted Ally Arham Shaikh, 27. The Ironman race consists of a 1.9 km swim, 90 km bicycle ride and a 21.1 km marathon that needs to be wrapped under 8 hours without taking a break.
The athlete successfully completed the race in 7 hours 44 minutes, securing the second position. The duo trained hard in the coaching academy for four months, for multitasking and their coordination.
For the first leg of the race, the duo was tethered together. Swimming together like for 1.9 km in the open sea with other candidates.
In the second round, Shaikh has experience as an ultra cyclist, which added as their favor. However, running for 20 km in soaring temperature wasn’t an easy task for them, but they crossed the line before time.
“The first Indian crossed the line of Ironman in 2005, till 2020 and we had no disabled athlete compete for the race yet. I believe if we have worked towards complete inclusivity, this huge gap of 15 years needs to be bridged and one of the major reason why I did this,” Dalal said in a statement.