Australian Kurt Fearnley after winning bronze in the T54 5000m in Rio earlier this week.
Australian Kurt Fearnley after winning bronze in the T54 5000m in Rio earlier this week. Sport the library / Jeff Crow

Fearnley scrapes through to 1500m final

AUSTRALIAN Paralympic legend Kurt Fearnley knows he will have to take risks if he is any chance in the final of the T54 1500m.

Fearnley was lucky to qualify for the final after coming fourth in his heat, missing an automatic spot by one position.

Fortunately his time meant he will race in the final on Wednesday morning (Australian time).

"I sat out wide for a long time and tried to set the pace reasonably quick,” he said.

"I sat in lane two without much of a wheel but you take those gifts, you have to.”

Fearnley, who is at his fifth Paralympics, said it was just lucky.

From now until the final, Fearnley said he just had to let his body recover.

"I couldn't sit myself two wide with the boys in that final,” he said.

"It will be a lot more risk taking, as in the choice of tactics - pace isn't a real option.”

On the other side of the coin Jake Lappin was unlucky to miss the final.

He missed the automatic spot and his time was quicker than some of those who automatically qualified in the other heat.

Fearnley said it was tough for someone like Lappin.

"He's a bloody good kid, he's got a big future in front of him,” he said.

"Hopefully we see him around for a lot more years and I'll be in the stand watching him.”

Fearnley gave a shout-out to Bundaberg's Rheed McCracken, who won silver in the 100m.

The two train together in Newcastle.

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