More than 100 world records fell around the globe during 2016 – at national meetings, Grand Prix, the European Championships and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Here are 10 of the top world records broken during the year.
1. Women’s 100m T44 – 12.93
Racing in the semi-finals of the 100m T44 at Rio 2016, Great Britain’s Sophie Kamlish broke the world record which had stood since former Paralympic and world champion April Holmes of the USA clocked 12.98 in her home country 10 years ago. Holmes was the first female single leg amputee to go under 13 seconds. Kamlish went on to finish fourth in Rio.
2. Men’s 100m T47 – 10.57
The men’s 100m 47 world record had stood for a remarkable 16 years – until Brazilian star Petrucio Ferreira clocked 10.67 in the 100m T47 heats at Rio 2016. He went 0.1 seconds faster in the final – blowing apart the mark of 10.72 set by Nigeria’s Adeoye Ajibola back in 1992.
3. Men’s 100m T38 – 10.74
Multiple Paralympic and world champion Evan O’Hanlon was aiming for his third consecutive Paralympic 100m T38 title at Rio 2016, but there was a major upset as China’s Jianwen Hu not only beat the Australian to the line, but knocked 0.05 seconds off O’Hanlon’s mark set at London 2012.
4. Women’s 200m T33 – 35.04
Teenage wheelchair racer Shelby Watson was in spectacular record-breaking form in 2016, smashing the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m T33 world records during the course of the year. The 200m T33 mark was notably impressive –competing at her first international event, l’Hospitalet meeting near Barcelona, Spain - the Briton clocked 37.08, knocking one second of the previous time which had stood for 16 years, before lowering that to 35.04 in Nottwil, Switzerland.
5. Men’s 1,500m T13 – 3:48.29
Abdellatif Baka hit the headlines at Rio 2016 after breaking the 1,500m T13 world record. He won gold in a time faster than it took Matthew Centrowitz to win 1,500m Olympic gold a month earlier. Baka knocked 0.55 seconds off the mark set by Kenyan David Korir at London 2012.
6. Men’s 5,000m T13 – 14:33.33
Tunisia’s Bilel Aloui won bronze at Rio 2016 – finishing behind T12 Para athletes Henry Kirwa of Kenya and El Amin Chentouf of Morocco, but his time of 14:33.33 was a first. Aloui knocked 13 seconds off Panama’s Said Gomes’ time of 14:46.00 set way back in 1995.
7. Men’s long jump T42 – 6.77m
The men’s long jump T42 was arguably the most competitive event of the year, with the world record changing hands three times during the season. Japan’s world champion Atsushi Yamamoto kicked off proceedings with 6.56m in May; Denmark’s Daniel Jorgensen followed up with 6.67m at the Rio test event later that month before adding another 3cm at the European Championships in Grosseto, Italy. Then came Germany’s Heinrich Popow, who leapt 6.72m in July before adding 5cm a month later.
8. Men’s high jump F44 – 2.19m
If there is one man you can rely on for a world record it’s Poland’s Maciej Lepiato. The 28-year-old makes our list for his consistency at the top – he broke his own world record at Rio 2016, adding 1cm on to his last world best set at the 2015 World Championships; prior to that he set a world record at the 2014 European Championships, the 2013 World Championships and the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
9. Men’s discus F44 – 64.11m
US thrower David Blair broke the discus F44 world record twice – first at May’s Arizona Grand Prix in the USA where he threw 63.61m, adding 15cm on to former Paralympic champion and double world champion Jeremy Campbell’s mark set in 2012. Blair then managed 64.11m at Rio 2016 and has voiced his desire to hit the 65m mark - soon.
10. Women’s javelin F55 – 23.26m
Latvia’s Diana Dadzite won three medals at the 2016 European Championships in Grosseto, Italy, including silver in the javelin F56, with 20.29m. Her personal best prior to that was 16.63m; at Rio 2016 she threw a sensational 23.26m – one of three throws over the 23m mark as she pushed former world record holder Martina Willing of Germany in to second place. Willing’s mark of 22.71m had stood since 1999.