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Ex-Deliveryman Brings Russian Paralympic Gold With 2 World Records

Mikhail Astashov has broken the world and Paralympic records for men’s cycling track 3,000 meter individual pursuit and the 1,000 meter race. Mikhail Astashov / instagram

A world paratriathlon champion from Russia won two cycling gold medals at the Tokyo Paralympics on Thursday, setting world and Paralympic records both times.

Mikhail Astashov, who has a congenital limb deficiency, made headlines in early 2020 when he was filmed delivering food in Russia’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg wearing prosthetic legs.

Astashov, 32, said at the time that he started working as a Yandex Food courier to raise money for his participation in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

On Thursday, Astashov broke the world and Paralympic record in the men’s cycling track 3,000 meter individual pursuit at 3.35 minutes and 954 milliseconds. 

On Friday, RBC reported that Astashov beat another world and Paralympic record with a 1.5 minute and 843 millisecond finish in the 1,000 meter race.

Astashov, who hails from the republic of Buryatia in eastern Siberia, won the 2019 Paratriathlon World Cup before taking up cycling that year.

Russia is competing at the pandemic-delayed games as the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) due to a two-year doping ban from international athletic competition.

The RPC currently ranks fourth in the Aug. 25-Sept. 5 games’ medals standing with six gold, five silver and six bronze medals.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)'s ban, which allows drug-free athletes to compete under neutral flags with no anthem, is expected to continue to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

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