Cockcroft Smashes 200m World Record at IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil
Author: International Paralympic Committee : Contact: www.paralympic.org
Published: 2014-05-16 : (Rev. 2014-05-18)
Synopsis and Key Points:
Multi-world and Paralympic champion Hannah Cockroft obliterated her own T34 world record with a stunning performance on the opening day of the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland.
Main DigestRacing with a 1.9m/s tailwind, the 21 year-old clocked 30.86 seconds to beat a quality field which included six of the eight London 2012 finalists.
Hannah Cockroft said: "It was great to post such a fast time in my first IPC Athletics Grand Prix of the season. I'm delighted with the record, although I know I can go faster looking at my training times.
"This shows I'm in great form ahead of August's European Championships when hopefully I can lower the record again."
One of the most anticipated races of the day was the men's 10,000m T54 with Great Britain's Paralympic champion David Weir going head-to-head with home favorite Marcel Hug.
Halfway through the race, the two rivals broke away from the rest of the field together with Japan's Masayuki Higuchi. With 200m to go, Hug (21:16.21) made his move to the front and held on for victory with Weir (21:16.31) second.
"It was good good fast race with three guys leading off together," said Hug who earlier in the day also raced the 200m. "I feel a little bit tired in my arms right now, but I'm happy. It's always good to beat David."
"It was a good race. I don't do many 10,000m so it was nice to feel comfortable throughout the race," explained Weir. "I wanted a British record, but they were only three of us out there doing the work. But it was a good race. It felt like the old days with each of us taking it in turns leading the laps."
Hug and Weir will line-up against each other twice on Saturday, first in the 800m during the morning session, and then the much hyped 1,500m in the evening.
On Friday, in addition to Cockroft's victory, there were a number of other 200m races and no more emotional winner than Belgium's Marieke Vervoort (35.98) in the women's T52.
Badly injured following a race crash at last year's World Championships in Lyon, France, the 100m Paralympic champion spent four months in hospital and was delighted to prove her doctors wrong with a stunning comeback win.
"I am so happy. It's overwhelming to be here competing again," said a delighted Vervoort. "The doctors told me I would never reach the top again because I was so badly injured. I told them `you are lucky you that I can't reach you with my fist!' Here I am I'm back again! It's amazing."
In other women's races, Australia's Angela Ballard (29.90) won the T53 race whilst Cheri Marsden (30.63) took victory in the T54 equivalent.
On the men's side, Canada's multi world champion Brent Lakotos (25.27) described his win in the men's 200m T53 as "almost perfect" as he finished just 0.03 seconds outside of Chris Waddell of the USA's 10 year-old world record.
Elsewhere in the 200m, Finland's Henry Manni (27.54) upset Tunisia's Paralympic and world champion Walid Ktila (27.57) in the T34 and the Netherlands' world champion Kenny van Weeghel (24.61) edged out Finland's two-time 200m Paralympic gold medalist Leo-Pekka Tahti (24.79) in the T54.
Latvia's Edgars Klavins (23.93) was victorious in the T13, Finland's Toni Piispanan (39.39) in the T51, Switzerland's Beat Bosch (31.77) in the T52, Kuwait's Ahmad Almutairi (31.25) in the T33 and Russia's Evgeniy Shvetcov (25.55) in the T35-37.
Competition will continue at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil until Sunday 18 May and on Saturday there will be two sessions of track and field starting at 09:00 and 14:25 respectively.
For the latest results, please visit: www.rollstuhlsportevents.ch/de/events_2014/2014_leichtathletik_parathletics_ipc_athletics_grand_prix/
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