Fresh off his fifth gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Belarusian swimmer Ihar Boki will be leaving it up to fate to see if he can match his heroics of Rio 2016 by clinching his sixth Paralympic title
Last night Belarus' Ihar Boki won his fifth gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The swimmer, who is at his third Paralympic Games, was dominant in the men's 200m individual medley SM13 at the Tokyo Aquatic Centre and had high hopes of matching his successes from Rio 2016 of clinching six gold medals in the pool.
“I hope that I can get it," Boki said after winning gold in the 400m freestyle S13 on Day 3 of the Paralympic Games. "I trained a lot, so I believe that I can get it and that I can do it.
"But Rio was five years ago, so I was younger, and maybe it was in some way easier for me. I'm trying all my best to do the same, so we will see what happens.”
The Belarusian has been dominant every race he goes into, and that showed when he broke his own world record with a time of 56.36 seconds in the 100m backstroke S13 on the second day of competition. He's also managed to break the Paralympic record in the 100m butterfly S13 Final.
On the brink of matching his success of winning six gold medals from Rio 2016, if he is able to win his last event at Tokyo 2020, he would become one of the all-time top 10 medallist at the Paralympic Games - only three Para swimmers have won more medals (Trishca Zorn, Beatrice Hess and Michael Edgson).
However, his last event will be the men's 100m breaststroke SB13 on September 1, which is one he admitted he wasn't particularly fond of.
"The one remaining is one of my least favourite styles," he said after winning the 200m individual medley on Monday 30 August. "I can't swim breaststroke. I am not born for this. To swim breaststroke, you have to be born that way. I am trying to improve it, so let's see what I will be able to show here.
"I am not able, for example, to kick with my legs. I can't turn my foot. I don't feel it, I can't do it."
While experience might be on the Belarusian's side - he has only missed the podium once since making his Paralympic debut at London 2012 and has 16 gold medals - his success in the breaststroke could be ..
The only time the 27-year-old missed the podium was during the 100m breaststroke SB13 at London 2012, where he finished seventh, while he bettered that result four years on in Rio 2016, clinching bronze.
Boki will begin his 100m breaststroke SB13 with the heats at 10:19 JST on September 1.