Paralympics: Blinded Nepali soldier battles to London start
LONDON (AFP) - Nepal athlete Bikram Bahadur Rana on Monday set a new personal best at the Paralympics, capping an extraordinary journey to the British capital from the Himalayan nation where he was blinded by Maoist rebels.
Aided by a guide runner, the former warrant officer came fourth out of four in his T11 200m heat for blind and visually impaired athletes, clocking a time of 26.95sec, more than four seconds behind the quickest qualifier.
He was ultimately slowest of 18 runners overall but the former soldier, one of only a two-strong national team at the Games, is lucky to be in London at all, after nearly losing his life in the forests of central Nepal.
Nine years ago he and his foot patrol triggered two roadside bombs left by Maoist rebels hiding in the forest.