(P1) Four visually impaired runners in the 1500 meters at the Rio Paralympics Games just earned some bragging rights: All put up times better than the US runner who took gold in the same Olympics competition, reports the Independent. Their times ranged from 3:48.29 (by gold medal winner Abdellatif Baka of Algeria) to 3:49.84 by fourth-place finisher Fouad Baka, also of Algeria. All were better than the time of 3:50 put up by American Matthew Centrowitz at the Summer Olympics. And, no, the Paralympians did not use any artificial aids. But as Chris Chase at Fox Sports explains, some other variables help explain what’s going on.
(P2) Long-distance races such as the 1500 meters aren’t just brute tests of speed from start to finish and instead often come down to tactics, he writes. In the Centrowitz race, for example, no runner leaped ahead to push the pace. In such races, “the group can be content to stay together until kicking it into gear in the final 500m,” he writes, and that’s exactly what happened. In fact, Centrowitz ran 11 seconds faster in an earlier round. No matter the rationale, however, these four Paralympians can still boast about being faster than their Olympics counterparts in their final heat.
VOCABULARY: impaired, Paralympics, put up, going on, brute, rationale, boast
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- What do you think of the four Paralympians competing with disabilities?
- Have you ever won a competition? If so, tell me about it. If not, would you like to?
- Do you think it’s difficult to run 1500 meters? Why or why not?
READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:
- Where were the Paralympics held?
- Who came in first place in the 1500 meter at the Paralympics?
- Long races are just a test of how strong a runner is. (T or F)
- How fast did the Summer Olympic gold medal winner run in the 1500 meters?
- Who was faster in the final race, the four Paralympians or their counterpart in the Summer Olympics?
EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:
What do the following expressions or phrases mean?
- bragging rights (P1)
- ranged from (P1)
- artificial aids (P1)
- leaped ahead to push the pace (P2)
- until kicking it into gear (P2)
Image source: by Bob Martin/OIS,IOC via AP http://www.newser.com/story/231032/4-paralympics-runners-best-olympic-gold-time.html