The historic Boston Marathon was completed by visually impaired Indian runner Sagar Baheti, he’s a Bangalore based runner. This is a proud moment for Indian sports, a victory in overcoming the odds.
The world’s oldest, most competitive, the hardest marathon to qualify is the Boston Marathon. Supported by Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI), 31 year old Baheti travelled to US and became the first visually impaired Indian to participate in famous marathon.
With assistance and guidance from old college friend, Boston based Devika Narain Aerts, Sagar finished 121st Boston as one of 30,000 runners on a scorching hot Monday. This Boston Marathon is to be recorded the second hottest marathon in decade.
Sagar completed approximately 42.16km distance in just four hours. His parents, Vishnukanta and Naresh Baheti, travelled from India to US to support their son and to see the marathon.
Baheti is diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, it is a type of macular degeneration that eventually leads to blindness. Baheti, a businessman by profession did not let this disease lower his morale and confidence.
He has been a sports enthusiast from a young age, using his disability to raise awareness in visual impairment in India. This led him to participate in this marathon. Sagar is hoping to raise $10,000 for MABVI, an institution that builds advanced low vision devices to make daily traveling easier for visually impaired.
Speaking to Times of India in December last year, he said, “ I grew up watching my dad and uncles play cricket at club level, and therefore, it was a childhood passion. I started playing club cricket when I was 14 and up, till I was diagnosed with Stargardts about three years ago (2013). It’s a condition that surfaces from the teens to mid 20s.”
Photo credit: The Better India