NEW DELHI: In a watershed moment for Indian sport, as well as a triumph(विजय) in overcoming the odds, Bangalore-based Sagar Baheti has become the first visually impaired Indian runner to complete the historic Boston Marathon, the world's oldest, most competitive and the hardest marathon to qualify for.
Supported by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI), the 31-year-old Baheti travelled to the USA and became the first visually impaired Indian to participate in the famous marathon. With assistance(सहायता) from an old college friend, Boston-based Devika Narain Aerts, Baheti finished the 121st Boston Marathon as one of 30,000 runners on a blisteringly hot(बहुत तेज़ गर्मी) Monday. The 2017 Boston Marathon has been recorded as the second hottest in a decade.
Baheti completed the approximately 42.16 km distance in just over four hours. Watching from close quarters were his parents, Vishnukanta and Naresh Baheti, who travelled from India to support their son.
Diagnosed (निदान) with Stargardt's disease, a type of macular degeneration that eventually leads to legal blindness, in 2013, Baheti - a businessman by profession - did not let it deter him. A sports enthusiast from a young age, he used his disability to raise awareness on visual impairment in India, which led him to Boston to participate in this year's annual run. With his participation, Baheti hopes to raise $10,000 for MABVI, an organization that builds advanced low-vision devices to make daily traveling easier for the visually impaired.