Tao Zheng smashes world record on Paralympic debut

With Tokyo 2020 now just one year away, it’s time to relive some of the greatest Paralympic moments of the decade. Today, 31 August 2020, we take a look at Tao Zheng’s record-breaking Paralympic debut 30 Aug 2020 By IPC

The schedule for Tokyo 2020 has been confirmed, venues announced and while athletes around the world are busy gearing up to qualify for the greatest show on Earth, it's time to enjoy 13 days full of the most unforgettable, inspiring and exciting moments from the past as preparations for Tokyo 2020 gather pace!


The image of 21-year-old Zheng competing at London 2012 captured the imagination of the world.

It was Zheng’s first Paralympic Games, but he handled the pressure effortlessly and made it to the 100m backstroke - S6 final as the second fastest qualifier, following his teammate and rival JIA Hongguang.

At the time, the world and Paralympic record was set by Russian Federation athlete Igor Plotnikov at Athens 2004, but on the night of the final, expectations were high that at last the eight-year-long record could finally be broken.