Mega May sees world records smashed

New marks set by European and Americas athletes 05 Jun 2018
a male wheelchair racer crosses the finish line

Richard Chiassaro set a new world record in the men's 800m T54 in May

ⒸGetty Images

With the 2018 track and field season now well underway world records have been tumbling around the globe.

Richard Chiassaro, Peter Genyn and Daniel Romanchuk were all in record-breaking form in Switzerland last week (31 May – 3 June) as the Swiss Series concluded in Nottwil, while in Brazil, Claudiney dos Santos, Andre Rocha and Elizabeth Gomes all threw new world marks at the National Circuit meeting in Sao Paulo.

The Daniela Jutzler Memorial and the Swiss Nationals took place in the week following the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil, and there was no shortage of excitement as records continued to fall on the track.

Great Britain’s Chiassaro smashed Marcel Hug’s eight-year-old world record in the men’s 800m T54, taking nearly a second off the Swiss Silver Bullet’s previous time as he crossed the line in 1:30.35.

Taking the lead early on, Chiassaro opened up a valuable gap which proved too much for the chasing pack to close down.

“I’m delighted with it. There was always the risk of going out hard and leading the others to a world record instead of me, but I opened up a margin which I managed to hold on to,” said the 36-year-old, who won 400m T54 bronze at last year’s World Championships.

“I looked underneath my wheel and I could see the gap back to Marcel. Daniel Romanchuk came with me but I managed to pull away from him.”

The Essex-based racer also lowered the 400m T54 European record he set days earlier, stopping the clock at 44.39.

“I hold the British record now in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m; European record in the 400m and 1500m and the world record in the 800m (T54), so it’s been a good week’s work. Now it is about having a couple of days off to recover and then we’ll be back into training to be in the best shape for the Europeans in August,” he added.

Meanwhile USA’s wheelchair racer Romanchuk continued to make his mark in the T54 class as he took a whopping 4.33 seconds off Rawat Tana’s 5,000m T53/54 world record set in Arbon twelve months ago.

Romanchuk, who at just 19-years-old looks to have a terrific track career ahead of him, crossed the line in 9:44.84 while Hug lowered his European record to 9:45.02 in a fast-paced race that also saw Canada’s T53 Para athlete Brent Lakatos (9:46.03) set a new national record.

It was also a record-breaking week for Belgian Genyn, who clocked the first ever sub-20 second time in the men’s 100m T51 on Thursday (31 May).

The world and Paralympic champion had already broken both the 100m and 400m T51 world records at the first event of the Swiss Series, the Nottwil Grand Prix, but this time was even more special as he clocked 19.89 at the Daniela Jutzeler Memorial meeting.

“I’m sure over time more T51 athletes will go sub-20 seconds. But I will always be the first,” said Genyn, who will head to the Berlin European Championships as favourite for gold.

Over 9,000 kilometres away at the Paralympic Training Centre in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the action was just as exciting as four world records fell in the field.

Competing in the discus F56 class, Paralympic champion Claudiney dos Santos threw a massive 46.68m, more than one metre further than the previous record set by Iran’s Ali Mohammadyari four years ago.

“I’m in a very good moment and getting ready for the Grand Prix in Europe. I will go there to give my best,” said dos Santos, who is set to compete at both the Paris and Berlin Grand Prix later this month.

Fellow Brazilian Andre Rocha was also in record-breaking form as he registered a massive throw of 8.81m in the shot put F53.

“I had already reach this mark in training so my goal was to break the record and it worked,” said Rocha.

Two world records went the way of Elizabeth Gomes, who competes in the F52 class. The 53-year-old added 1.27m on to US Para athlete Cassie Mitchell’s best from 2013 with 7.41m in the shot put, while in the discus F52 Gomes broke the previous record which had stood since 2004 with a huge 16.44m throw.

*All world records are subject to ratification by World Para Athletics