Paralympian misses Tokyo event by two minutes

Robin Liksor.
Robin Liksor. Source: Hendrik Osula

An Estonian paralympian's campaign in Tokyo came to an unfortunate end Thursday due to some confusion over start times.

Swimmer Robin Liksor was due to take part in the 100m breaststroke preliminary heat Thursday morning, Estonian time, but lack of clarity over the time he needed to be on-site at the pool led to his exclusion from the heat, and therefore the competition.

Writing on his social media account, Liksor said that he had arrived at the event start area two minutes late, owing to confusion over the deadline – swimmers have to be in their call room 15 minutes before the start of their heat, to give organizers a better overview of competitors and to make things run smoothly – but, he said, at the Paralympics the 15-minute rule applies to the whole event regardless of which heat a swimmer is in.

Liksor, who was Estonia's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony, wrote: ""We had two heats in total and I was in the second heat. Because I thought I had to be there for the start of my heat, not the start of the event, I was two minutes late, and that meant I didn't get to compete at the Tokyo Paralympics."

"There's no reason to blame the organizers, it was still entirely my fault that this wasn't checked before," he added.

"It was still a very bitter blow when you've been training your whole life to get to the Paralympics and the fateful two minutes end up excluding you from the competition, but we all making mistakes and things like that happen from time to time. It's a pity it had to happen here rather than in some other competition."

Estonia has sent four other athletes to the games this time, Kardo Ploomipuu, Susannah Kaul and Egert Jõesaar and Matz Topkin.

The XVI Summer Paralympics held in Tokyo run August 24-September 5, having been put back a year as with many other major sporting events.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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