Japanese long-distance runners Kenya Karasawa and Shinya Wada won silver and bronze, respectively, in the men's Paralympic T11 5,000-meter event for visually impaired athletes held at the National Stadium on Friday.

In his Paralympics debut, Karasawa, who lost his vision completely when he was 10, surged hard with a lap to go and scorched past most of the field, but Brazilian Yeltsin Jacques kicked on the final bend to cross the line first in 15 minutes, 13.62 seconds.

Japanese long-distance runners Kenya Karasawa (far R) and Shinya Wada (far L) compete in the men's Paralympic T11 5,000-meter event for visually impaired athletes at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Aug. 27, 2021. (Kyodo)

The 27-year-old Karasawa came home in 15:18.12 and three-time Paralympian Wada, 44, clocked 15:21.03, adding another bronze to the one he won in the same event at the 2012 London Games.

Jacques won the first athletics medal on offer at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Blind runners and their sighted guides are connected by a tether tied around the wrists or held between the fingers. For races that are 5,000 meters or longer, runners are permitted to have two guides who can sub out partway through the race.

Athletes and their guides run in the T11 final of the men's 5,000 meters at the Tokyo Paralympics on Aug. 27, 2021, at the National Stadium. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
 
Gold medalist Yeltsin Jacques of Brazil (3rd from R), silver medalist Kenya Karasawa of Japan (far L) and bronze medalist Shinya Wada of Japan (2nd from R) congratulate each other after competing in the T11 final of the men's 5,000 meters at the Tokyo Paralympics on Aug. 27, 2021, at the National Stadium. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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