A spectacular 17 world records fell at the IPC sanctioned Daniela Jutzeler Memorial para-athletics meeting in Arbon, Switzerland on Thursday (4 June).
Less than a week after nine world records were broken at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in nearby Nottwil, the impressive performances continued in what is fast becoming a thrilling year of track and field – with less than five months to go before the World Championships in Qatar, UAE.
US track stars Raymond Martin and Tatyana McFadden – both gold medallists at the World Marathon Championships in London, Great Britain, six weeks ago - continued to dominate their events with a phenomenal three world records apiece.
Multiple world gold medallist Martin knocked 0.27 seconds off fellow American Paul Nitz’s mark set in Nottwil three years ago in the 100m T52, with a new time of 16.46. Then in the 400m T52 and 1,500m T52 Martin lowered his own previous world records set in Indianapolis last year, with 55.19 and 3:29.79 respectively.
McFadden, who won a historic six gold medals at the 2013 World Championships in Lyon, France, added her name to the record books in the 400m T54, beating the previous world mark set by Canada’s Chantal Petitclerc in 2004 by just 0.01 seconds with a time of 51.90.
The 26-year-old also improved on her own 800m T54 world record of 1:44.44 set in Lyon in 2013 with a new best of 1:42.72. She also knocked an impressive 5.46 seconds off her 1,500m T53/54 world record set twelve months ago with a time of 3:13.27.
Great Britain’s Paralympic, world and European champion Hannah Cockroft kicked off the day with a new world record in the 200m T34. The 22-year-old knocked 0.13 seconds off the mark she set in Bedford, Great Britain two years ago, crossing the line in 30.51.
Then it was the turn of Canadian Becky Richter, who had already shown spectacular form five days previously, breaking the 100m T51 world record which had stood for 29 years.
Richter’s new mark did not last long this time though as she substantially lowered both the 100m and 200m T51 world records. The 33-year-old clocked a phenomenal 53.56 over 200m, nearly 2.5 seconds off the previous mark set in 1998, then later knocked more than three seconds off her 100m from Nottwil, clocking 28.31.
There were two new world records for Finland as Toni Piispanen also lowered his own world record set in Nottwil with 20.47 in the 100m T51, and Amanda Kotaja managed 15.64 in the 100m T54, beating Wenjun Liu’s mark of 15.82 set at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
Tunisia’s world and Paralympic champion Walid Ktila broke two of his own world records, first in the 800m T34 where he knocked more than two seconds off the mark he set in Dubai last year, crossing the line in 1:40.21, then in the 100m T34 where he broke the tape in 14.95 – his previous best was 15.33, set in the UAE in early 2014.
Australian Angela Ballard also improved on the 400m T53 new world record she set in Nottwil, knocking a further 0.03 seconds off her time with 54.70. The 800m T53 world record also went her way as she bettered Jessica Galli’s 8-year-old mark of 1:49.82 to finish in 1:47.48.
America’s 800m T53 world champion Josh George added the word record to his achievements as he clocked 1:34.43, taking 0.48 off the previous mark set by Korea’s Sukman Hong – also in Arbon – five years ago.
Chelsea McClammer was another American in fine form, as she took more than six seconds off McFadden’s 5000m T53/54 world record set last year with a time of 11.04.77.
Athletes will now move onto the next IPC Athletics Grand Prix which takes place in Grosseto, Italy, between 12-14 June.