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Watch: First visually impaired athlete to race in Malta half marathon

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Jesper Mathiesen and Tommy Wallbank ahead of a midweek training run in Ta’ Qali. Photos: Fabio Spiteri facebook

In a quiet car park just across the Ta’ Qali National Stadium, a group of 13 athletes are warming up before their running session on a windy and cold Wednesday night. Their coach, ultra-triathlete Fabio Spiteri, guides them on their drills to make sure that they are well stretched and warm before they kick off their 10-kilometre run session. Among the runners is 29-year-old Jesper Mathiesen who, like the rest of the team, is carrying out the high knee drills before embarking on the run. Video: Karl Andrew Micallef Like the others, he wears a warm, high-neck zip jumper to protect him from the biting wind. But unlike the rest of his team mates, Jesper is also donning a high-visibility safety vest with the word ‘blind’ spelled out across the front and the back. The Danish runner was born with a serious eye condition, which left him with only five per cent of normal vision as a child, worsening as he got older. Yet, this has not kept Jesper back from taking part in road running races and half marathons throughout the years. In 2019, he even hiked up Africa’s tallest mountain peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. Now, he is training to run 21km in the upcoming Intersport La Valette half...

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