DOHA, Qatar — Louisiana Tech’s Jaquvis Hart will compete in red, white and blue Thursday but for a very different reason. Hart, a former Airline standout, is in Doha this week to compete for the United States of America at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships.
Nicknamed JQ, Hart will compete in the 400m dash semifinals on Oct. 22 with a chance to advance to the finals on Oct. 23. The semifinals are now scheduled to begin at approximately 10:42 a.m. Central/6:42 p.m. Arabian on Oct. 22. To adjust to the time difference and prepare for the competition, Hart traveled to Doha last Wednesday.
Hart will race in the T47 division Thursday in the second semifinal heat. Hart enters with a personal best time of 49.40, ranking fourth in his semifinal. Russia’s Alexey Kotlov leads the second semifinal with a personal best tiem of 48.94 while Rwanda’s Hermas Muvunyi’s time of 49.16 ranks second. China’s Hao Wang enters with a personal best time of 49.25.
Also in the second semifinal is Jamaica’s David Bascoe (51.08), Turkey’s Nur Ahmet Akal (53.70), Jordan’s Sa’ada Bilal (50.16) and Papua New Guinea’s Samuel Nason (NT).
Hart is the only American in his classification of the 400m. The other semifinal features sprinters from Angola, Austria, Brazil, Cuba, Cypress, Jamaica, Nambia and Rwanda.
The winner of the Courage Award at the TECHSPY’s in May, Hart enters next week’s competition with a personal best time of 47.76 in the open 400m in regular competition, which he set at the Conference USA Championships in 2014 in Houston.
Hart was born without the lower half of his left arm but still competes for Louisiana Tech’s track and field team, refusing to allow his disability to slow him down. He often claims he does not have a disability, preferring to compete on the same track as anyone else.
Hart lettered in football, wrestling and track at Airline and received all-state honors in both track and wrestling. He was a state champion in track and a two-time city champion in wrestling.
The IPC Athletics World Championships is a biennial event (formerly held every four years) organized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). Athletes with a physical disability compete, and in a few events athletes with an intellectual disability compete. The first UPC Athletics World Championships was held in Berlin, Germany in 1994. This year’s championships marks the seventh championship competition with the 2013 event held in Lyon, France and the 2017 event scheduled for London.
Hart is the first Louisiana Tech student-athlete to represent Team USA since Chelsea Hayes competed in the long jump at the XXX Olympiad in London.
— Louisiana Tech Sports Information