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Ukrainian veteran who lost leg in war beats own time at Tokyo marathon with prosthetic

Roman Kashpur, a veteran of the Ukraine war who lost a leg after stepping on landmine, completed the 2024 Tokyo Marathon in 4 hours 50 minutes on a prosthetic leg, improving on his previous marathon times.
Roman Kashpur, a Ukrainian veteran amputee, after participation in the 2024 Tokyo Marathon. 3 March 2024. Photo: Facebook/Рома Кашпур
Ukrainian veteran who lost leg in war beats own time at Tokyo marathon with prosthetic

Roman Kashpur, a veteran of the war in Ukraine who lost part of his leg in combat, completed the 2024 Tokyo Marathon on 3 March in a personal best time of 4 hours and 50 minutes while using a prosthetic leg. He reported it on Facebook, according to Ukrinform.

The achievement comes five years after Mr. Kashpur suffered a traumatic injury from a landmine explosion while deployed in 2019 near Marinka at the age of 19 as an Army soldier. He lost a limb in the incident but found solace in sports. Less than a year after his amputation, he won the Heroes Games. In December 2021, he set a Ukrainian record by pulling a 16-tonne An-26 aircraft 6.4 meters in just 44 seconds.

“Tokyo Marathon 2024 – Mission accomplished. This is the third marathon in the TOP 6. This is the vector that had to show whether we were doing everything right. The time is better than in all previous marathons – 4 hours and 50 minutes. This time proves we did everything right,” Kashpur said in a video posted after the race.

In a social media message after the event, an elated Kashpur dedicated his accomplishment to the rehabilitation and renewed hope of wounded Ukrainian veterans. “Keep trying to find your true self, get out of bed,” he urged to injured soldiers. “Our struggle is not over… We will definitely win on all fronts.”

The Tokyo Marathon is a prestigious event in the World Marathon Majors series. This year, the Ukrainian team is sponsored by the Hromadianyn Charitable Foundation, which supported two Ukrainian veterans, Roman Kashpur and Yuriy Kozlovskyi. Both athletes helped raise funds for prosthetics and rehabilitation for wounded Ukrainian fighters.

In late 2023, Ukraine’s Olympic president Vadym Hutsayt said over 400 Ukrainian athletes had been killed and 500 sports facilities had been destroyed since Russia’s full-scale invasion. 

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