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World records fall ahead of Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

2016-08-26 09:45:00 Rio 2016

Hannah Cockroft is the first female wheelchair athlete to crack the two-minute mark in the 800m (Photo: Getty Images/Paul Gilham)

Germany's multi-event star Heinrich Popow is the latest athlete to claim the men's world record in long jump ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Popow, who won gold in the men's 100m sprint at London 2012, is one of three competitors to record four world benchmarks this year in the long jump for athletes with a lower leg impairment

The world record first fell in May when Japan’s reigning world champion Atsushi Yamamoto leapt 6.56 metres. After that, Denmark’s London 2012 bronze medallist Daniel Wagner added another 11 centimetres as he jumped 6.67 metres at the test event for the Rio Paralympic Games. In June, Wagner then bettered his own mark with a 6.70 leap to secure the European title in Italy.

Heinrich Popow will look to defend his Paralympic Games gold in the 100m and also reach the podium in long jump at Rio 2016 (Photo: Getty Images/Julian Finney)

Popow announced his intention to improve on his fourth-place finish in long jump at London 2012 after he grabbed the world record with a jump of 6.77m at a weekend meet in Germany. He soared to the top of the world rankings earlier in the summer with a 6.72m jump, and the 33-year-old, who missed last year’s world championships because of injury, looks to be in great form at just the right time.

Great Britain's Paralympic and world champion Hannah Cockroft clocked a new best in the women’s 800m on 21 August.

At the Godiva Classic in Coventry in her home country, the 24-year-old wheelchair athlete turned in a highly impressive 1:56.89 in the 800m wheelchair race. She is the first athelte in her class to go under the two-minute mark.

Cockroft’s time puts her back at the top of the world rankings after her USA rival Alexa Halko set what was then a world record of 2:01.83 at the 2016 USA Paralympic team trials in June.

Double European champion Irmgard Bensusan of Germany broke the 100m European record in her class (T44) with a time of 13.02 seconds.

Her team-mate and European silver medallist Felix Streng recorded 10.89s for the 100m in his class (T44) and broke his own 200m European record with 21.93s. In the same distance for the T43 class, world champion Germany sprinter David Behre clocked a new 200m European record of 21.79s.

Records will become targets at Rio 2016. Ireland's Jason Smyth, the Usain Bolt of the Paralympic Games, is another athlete looking to claim a world best once the Games start on 7 August.


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