Heinrich Köberle Athlete
Heinrich Köberle, born in 1946, is a German athlete. He competes in wheelchair marathons in a handcycle, and has won four gold medals in marathons at the Paralympic Games - more than any other athlete. He holds the record for the fastest men's marathon in his disability category (the most severe for wheelchair athletes), set in Berlin in 1995, in 2:23:08. Köberle first participated in the Paralympic Games when the marathon was introduced in 1984. He competed in category 1A (wheelchair marathon for athletes with the most severe level of disability). Only three athletes began the race, and only Köberle reached the finish line, obtaining his first Paralympic gold medal with a time of 3:41:47. He defended his title in 1988, in a more competitive event, in which all four starters reached the finish line. Köberle came first, drastically improving his previous performance, completing the marathon in 2:50:39 - almost seven minutes ahead of second-placed Rainer Kueschall (of Switzerland). In 1992, the number of competitors increased to ten. Köberle won in 2:32:56, this time only twenty-four seconds ahead of Kueschall - but setting a Paralympic record which still stands.
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