Cockroft and Jong pulverise records in Nottwil

Dutch long jumper and British wheelchair racer impress during the three-day star-studded Grand Prix in Switzerland 17 May 2021
A woman in a racing wheelchair during a Para athletics race
Hannah Cockroft lowered in almost 5 seconds her previous world record in the women's 800m T34 in Switzerland
ⒸSVP / Nottwil LOC
By World Para Athletics

Nottwil hosted once again three-days of intense action and great performances during the 2021 World Para Athletics Grand Prix which ended on Sunday (16 May).

British wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft and Dutch jumper Fleur Jong were the highlights of the event in Switzerland smashing their own world records*.

Five-time Paralympic champion Cockroft set a new world mark for the women’s 800m T34 clocking 1:50.91 on day one on Friday (14 May). It was almost 5 seconds faster than her previous record (1:55.73) also set in a Swiss track, in Arbon in 2017.

“I trained very hard in lockdown, I spent a lot of time inside, in the gym and in my garage,” said the British athlete. “It is nice to be back on the track. It is nice to be racing again and I just enjoyed myself."

On Saturday (15 May) Jong became the first female T62 athlete to go over the 6m-barrier in the long jump with a new world record of 6.02m – an impressive 81cm better than the previous one established in Paris in 2019.

Her result was celebrated by other long-jump amputee stars on social media. 

“How cool is that...congratulations! 🔥💪🏼But I'm sure there is more to come!,” commented the world record holder in the men’s T64 Markus Rehm of Germany.

Regional records

Nine regional records were also broken at Nottwil 2021, five from Africa, three from the Americas region and one from Europe.

Tunisia’s three-time Paralympic champion Walid Ktila won gold in the men’s 800m T34 with a time only 0.05 behind the world record, but enough to give him the African record (1:37.89).

Alphonse Anais Noemie of Mauritius set a new African record in the women’s 100m T54 (16.68) finishing second in the race behind Japan’s Momoka Muraoka (16.60).

The five-time Paralympic champion Leo-Pekka Tahti of Finland won the men’s 100m T54 (13.85) followed by Mexico’s Juan Pablo Cervantes who establish a new Americas record for the event (14.02).

One of the fastest tracks in the Para athletics circuit, Nottwil also saw the return of USA’s Paralympic legend Tatyana McFadden in the T54 races at the 2021 Grand Prix.

The athlete, who won six medals including four gold at the Rio 2016 Games, achieved her best result in Switzerland in the women’s 400m. McFadden clocked 3:24.94 to finish second behind home star Manuela Schaer (3:23.58).

Schaer clinched another two victories in the 800m T54 (1:44.39) and 1500m T53-54 (3:23.58) ahead of USA’s Susannah Scaroni in both races. Scaroni came back in the 5000m T53-54 (11:43.45) with Schaer taking silver.

Refugee debut

Argentina’s Hernan Barreto set an Americas record in the men’s 200m T35 (25.59) while South Africa’s Daniel du Plessis broke the African record in the men’s 400m T62 (53.02). Germany’s Johannes Floors won the race in 48.04.

Floors took another triumph in the men’s 100m T62 (11.21) ahead of his compatriot David Behre (12.43).

In field events, Colombia’s Martha Hernandez said a new Americas record in the women’s shot put F36 (9.58m) while Switzerland’s Patrick Stoll broke the European mark in the men’s javelin F64 (42.52m).

Two other African records came in jump events both with Nigerian athletes. First with Amon Abraham Okechukwu in the men’s high jump T44 (1.81m) on Friday followed by Ahiakwo Joy Ozioma in the men’s long jump T47 (4.73m) on Saturday.

Nottwil 2021 marked the Grand Prix debut for refugee athlete Alia Issa who competed in the women's club throw F32 on Saturday. The Syrian-born athlete is in search of qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in August.

Complete results from Nottwil 2021 can be found on the Swiss Paraplegics Association website.

*Records subject to ratification by World Para Athletics