If there was any question mark about how athletes would perform in their return to action in Krakow, Poland and Leverkusen, Germany last week, the results left no room for doubt.
Seven new world records were set during following three days of competition in the Polish city and one in Germany.
Competing at home, Faustina Kotlowska e Renata Sliwinska were the stars of the 48th Polish Para Athletics Championships at the AWK Krakow Stadium.
The 19-year-old Kotlowska broke one world record per day, starting with the women’s shot put F64 (10.35) on Friday (21 August) followed by the discus throw F64 (36.53) and the javelin F64 (26.61).
Silver medallist at London 2017 and Dubai 2019 World Championships in the women’s shot put F40, Sliwinska improved her own world record with 9.11 and also established a new world mark in the javelin (23.37).
More than 250 athletes were in action in Krakow, including representatives from Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Malta and Portugal.
The competition also offered the first classification opportunity in Para athletics since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A hometown hero and a Dutch guest stole the show at the 10th Invitation Para Athletics International Meeting in Leverkusen.
Dubai 2019 men’s long jump T63 world champion Leon Schaefer is part of Bayer Leverkusen’s Para athletics team and the Fritz-Jacobi Athletics Park is his home track.
So there was no better place for him to become the first above the knee amputee to beat the 7m mark and break his own long jump T63 world record with 7.24m.
“I knew I had it in me. I had five different approaches and I was happy that it happened in the last one. I had the power, I felt good and it was a great atmosphere here,” Schaefer said.
Athletes from Netherlands and Switzerland also took part in the competition in Leverkusen. One of them, Fleur Jong, returned home as the new world record holder in the women’s 100m T62 (12.78).
“I am really happy that the world record is now finally in my name. I was running really well in the Netherlands, so I wanted to come here because I knew it was a good competition,” said Jong.
*All records subject to ratification by World Para Athletics.