A weekend of Para athletics world records
One week after racing to new world records at the Nottwil Grand Prix in Switzerland, Canada’s Brent Lakatos and USA’s Daniel Romanchuk were at it again – this time at the Swiss Nationals in nearby Arbon.
Lakatos, who turned 39 on Saturday (1 June), celebrated his birthday in superb style, re-writing the record books in both the 400m and 800m T53.
“This was the most amazing birthday ever! A WR in the 400m and a big win in the 1500m! Thank you all for the kind birthday wishes! 39 years old and not slowing down!”
In the 400m, the 11-time world champion knocked 0.52 seconds off the time he set in Nottwil six days earlier, this time clocking 46.82. He added a win in his heat of the 1,500m T53/54 for good measure – the second-fastest time of the day.
Later, he posted on social media: “This was the most amazing birthday ever! A WR in the 400m and a big win in the 1500m! Thank you all for the kind birthday wishes! 39 years old and not slowing down!”
Sure enough, Lakatos showed his pace over 800m the following day, crossing the line in 1:31.69. The time was 0.22 seconds faster than Lakatos’s previous best set in Arbon in 2017.
The UK-based wheelchair racer holds world records in all distances from 100m up to and including 1,500m.
Romanchuk shines again
Not to be outdone, Romanchuk took a massive 1.5 seconds off the 5,000m T54 mark he set a week earlier in Nottwil, this time speeding home in 9:42.83.
The 20-year-old USA racer, who won the world marathon T54 title in London in April, is the current 800m and 5,000m T54 world record holder.
The first world record to fall in Arbon was the men’s 100m T52, thanks to reigning world champion Ray Martin.
The 25-year-old USA athlete lay down his marker for the remainder of the season with a time of 16.41 at the Daniela Jutzeler Memorial on Friday (31 May), the first of the three days of competition. Martin’s time was 0.05 seconds faster than his previous record-mark set on the same track four years ago.
Tunisia’s Walid Ktila was also in record-breaking form.
The multiple world and Paralympic champion knocked 0.16 seconds off the 100m T34 world record he set in Dubai earlier this year, this time clocking 14.46 in a sensational race which also saw regional records fall for Australian Rheed McCracken (14.79), UAE’s Mohamed Alhammadi (15.41) and Canada’s Austin Smeenk (15.54).
Ktila went on to lower his 200m T34 world record too, powering well clear of the field to cross the line in 25.91.
The women’s 800m T54 also saw multiple records fall – led by home favourite Manuela Schaer, who raced home to a new world record of 1:41.83, knocking nearly one second off Tatyana McFadden’s previous best.
USA’s McFadden (1:42.09), Australia’s Eliza Ault-Connell (1:42.35) and China’s Lihong Zou (1:42.38) all set regional records behind Schaer.
Great Britain’s Hannah Cockroft smashed her own world record in the women’s 400m T34 – a distance she says she loves to race – stopping the clock at 57.48. Cockroft’s time was 0.25 seconds faster than her previous which she set in Arbon two years ago.
More world records in Germany
Germany’s Stefan Strobel set a new world record in the 10,000m T51 – his time of 35:25.30 more than 25 seconds faster than the previous best set by South African Pieter du Preez.
Meanwhile, around 400 miles away in Halle (Saale) in the east of Germany, Niko Kappel obliterated the world record in the men’s shot put F41.
The 24-year-old Paralympic and world champion threw a massive 14.11m in the sixth and final round of competition, adding no less than seven centimetres on to the previous record of 14.04m set by Poland’s Bartosz Tyszkowski at last year’s European Championships.
Kappel, who had impressed at the Nottwil Grand Prix where he threw 14.01m – just one centimetre less than his previous personal best – took to Instagram after his latest achievement, posting:
“Thank you to all who have followed and supported me! It was a great competition!”