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Zanardi will try to defend hand cycling gold medals in Tokyo

January 24, 2019
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Alex Zanardi talks with visitors outside his pit stall during a practice session for the IMSA 24 hour race at Daytona International Speedway, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Alex Zanardi will attempt to qualify for a third consecutive Paralympics and defend his hand cycling gold medals next year in Tokyo.

In London in 2012, Zanardi won gold in the time trial H4 and the road race as well as silver for Italy in the mixed relay team H1-4. Four years later in Brazil, he won gold in the time trial H5 and was part of the gold-winning mixed relay in H2-5.

The 52-year-old Zanardi is racing this weekend in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona sports car endurance race. The two-time CART champion lost both his legs in a 2001 crash but has had an illustrious athletic career post-accident.

He was asked Thursday what he would like to do next and revealed his first goal is resuming hand cycle training in a bid to qualify for Tokyo. He noted he will be 53 later this year and the task will be difficult.

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