IPC Athletics World Championships
19-29 July

How fast will the blade runners go?

Whitehead, Oliveira, Leeper, Peacock and Browne all contenders to break records on 'Terrific Tuesday' 23 Jul 2013
Infographic T43/44 races 1996-2012

The men's 100m T43/T44 sprinters are getting faster and the races closer


Browne believes that by Rio 2016 the record will be 10.50 which make take some doing considering that the record has only come down 0.26 seconds in the last 13 years.

As the blade runners take centre stage at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France on Tuesday (23 July) the big question on everyone’s lips is ‘how fast can they go?’

With the finals of the men’s 100m T43 and T44 classes, as well as the men’s 200m T42, taking place during this afternoon’s session it is very likely that the world records in all three events will be smashed.

Even before obliterating the 200m T43 world record on Sunday with a time of 20.66 seconds, Brazil’s Paralympic champion Alan Oliveira gave a glimpse of what to expect by telling the world’s media: “I don’t have any limits so who knows how fast I can go.”

Last month in Berlin, Germany, Oliveira smashed the 100m T43 world record with a time of 10.77. The previous record of 10.91 had been jointly held by South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius and USA’s Blake Leeper, and the latter athlete is looking forward to going head-to-head with the Brazilian this afternoon.

According to the record books the T43 record has fallen by 0.66 seconds in the last nine years and many are predicting it will go even lower later today.

The T44 class has also seen the world record improve dramatically in recent years. Since Marlon Shirley of the USA ran 11.09 at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, the record has fallen five times, most recently yesterday when another American, Richard Browne, ran 10.83 to set-up today’s final against previous record holder Jonnie Peacock.

Browne believes that by Rio 2016 the record will be 10.50 which make take some doing considering that the record has only come down 0.26 seconds in the last 13 years.

The record books show that not only are the major finals getting faster, but the margin of victory is also getting smaller. At the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games 0.66 seconds separated first and third places. In comparison just 0.18 was the margin between Jonnie Peacock in gold and South Africa’s Arnu Fourie in bronze at London 2012.

Many are predicting that tonight’s T44 race will see another para-athletics landmark created with all three podium finishers expected to go under 11 seconds.

The men’s 200m T42 world record could also be smashed tonight. Yesterday the championship record was broken in each of the semi-finals and the world’s fastest man over the distance Richard Whitehead of Great Britain says he is in world record shape.

Yesterday the Paralympic and defending world champion ran 22.49, just 0.11 seconds outside his world record despite strolling the last 30m. Tonight he will be pushed all the way by Australia’s Scott Reardon - who saw his championship record from the first semi-final stand for a matter of minutes – and Germany’s Heinrich Popow.

It promises to be a thrilling afternoon at Lyon’s Stade du Rhone and you can watch it all live at www.ParalympicSport.TV.

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