Four historic para-swimming world records

With the World Championships fast approaching, will 2015 be the year that the oldest world records in history will be broken? 03 Mar 2015
Beatrice Hess broke nine world records at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games

Beatrice Hess broke nine world records at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games

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The next two years in para-swimming will be some of the most competitive in the sport’s history.

With an IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Great Britain, and the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games taking place ahead of what is expected to go down in history as one of the most exciting Paralympic Games in Rio in 2016, find out whose records have stood the test of time, and could be in line to fall.

John Morgan, USA, 100m and 400m freestyle S11

The oldest para-swimming world record is held by US great John Morgan with a 100m freestyle S11 time of 0:56.57.

Thirteen-time Paralympic champion Morgan, who appears on this list more than once, set the world record almost 30 years ago at the 1986 World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. He is also still the holder of an impressive five world records.

Another one of Morgan’s marks, the 400m freestyle at 4:20.83, was set at the Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games, where he set a total of six world records.

The current stars of the pool hoping to bring Morgan’s times tumbling in 2015 include Morgan’s fellow countryman and 100m freestyle S11 Paralympic champion Brad Snyder.

Kasper Engel, the Netherlands, 100m breaststroke SB5

Engel’s 19-year-old record of 1:31.50 set at Atlanta 1996 could be in danger of falling in 2015.

South Korea’s Paralympic champion Woo-Geun Lim swam a world No.1 best time of 1:32.20 at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games, knocking just over one second off his gold medal winning time from London 2012.

Beatrice Hess, France, 200m freestyle S5

Hess’ career, which took in five Paralympic Games and 20 gold medals over two decades, led to her being described by French newspaper L’Humanite as one of the best swimmers in the world.

Incredibly, the 200m freestyle S5 world record of 2:44.61 was set towards the end of her career at her penultimate Paralympic Games at Sydney 2000, where she broke nine world records in all.

Glasgow 2015 is expected to attract around 650 swimmers from 50 countries in the biggest international competition before the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games between 13-19 July.

Tickets are available from GBP 10/15 for adults for heats/finals at