A phenomenal eight world and 22 regional records fell in just one day of competition at the Daniel Jutzeler Memorial meeting in Arbon, Switzerland on Thursday (25 May) as Para athletes gear up for July’s World Championships.
Great Britain’s Hannah Cockroft smashed two of her own world records – including the 100m T34, a mark which the 24-year-old had been determined to lower for some time.
Cockroft’s time of 17.28 knocked 0.03 seconds off the record she set in nearby Nottwil three years ago.
The five-time Paralympic champion also excelled in the 400m T34, taking 0.92 seconds off her previous best set at Rio 2016 with a new world record time of 57.86.
There were two world records as well for US wheelchair racer Chelsea McClammer.
The double Paralympic silver medallist led the way home in the women’s 400m T53 race with a time of 53.32, more than one second faster than the time China’s Hongzhuan Zhou set on her way to winning Paralympic gold last year.
McClammer was in terrific form in the women’s 5,000m T53/54 too; her world record time of 11:02.40 was more than two seconds faster than the previous best set by fellow American Tatyana McFadden in Arbon two years ago.
The men’s 5,000m T53/54 was spectacularly fast with seven athletes all beating the previous record set by Switzerland’s Marcel Hug in 2010. Thailand’s reigning world champion Rawat Tana led the way with 9:51.36, whilst Hug (9:51.61), the USA’s Josh George (9:52.08) and Australia’s Kurt Fearnley (9:52.31) all set regional records.
Canada’s T53 Paralympic champion Brent Lakatos (14.15) lowered his own 100m world record knocking 0.02 seconds off his previous best from three years ago. In the same race, Thailand’s Paeyo Pingsakorn lowered his Asian record to 14.36. Lakatos also set an Americas record in the 400m clocking 47.49.
Tunisia’s Walid Ktila – who won four gold medals at the 2015 World Championships - raced home in the men’s 400m T34 in 49.57, taking 0.47 seconds off his previous record from 2014.
Another world record fell in the men’s T34 class. The UAE’s newly crowned Paralympic champion Mohamed Hammadi showed he is now the man to beat in the men’s 800m T34 as he finished first in 1:37.84 – more than two seconds faster than Ktila’s previous world record mark set at the same meeting two years earlier. Great Britain’s Ben Rowlings (1:39.12) clocked a new European best.
A number of other British athletes joined Rowlings in breaking European records in Arbon.
Fresh from breaking the 200m T53 world record earlier this month, Samantha Kinghorn, set new European records in the 100m (16.21) and 400m (53.72).
Toby Gold also set two new European records in the men’s 100m T33 (17.05) and in the 200m T33 (30.27). Daniel Bramall added to British successes as he set a new regional record in the men’s 400m T53 (1:01.12).
European records also went the way of Switzerland’s Manuela Schär in the 400m T54 (54.40) and France’s Pierre Fairbank in the men’s 200m T53 (26.07).
Not to be outdone, in addition to Fearnley’s record in the 5,000m, six further Oceania records were broken by Australian athletes. T34 racer Rheed McCracken beat his own marks in the 100m (15.07) and the 200m (27.21), Angie Ballard lowered the previous best times in the 400m (54.36) and 1,500m (3:20.94) and Jake Lappin broke Fearnely’s 400m T54 record (47.21). Impressively Madison de Rozario took nearly 21 seconds off her own 5,000m Oceania record with a time of 11:02.54.
Finally, Japan’s Haruka Kitaura (1:10.55) set an Asian record in the women’s 400m T34 and the men’s 800m T54 witnessed an African record for Tunisia’s Yassine Gharbi (1:32.02) and a new Asian record for Japan’s Tomoki Suzuki (1:33.11).