2016 has been another remarkable year for para-athletics in the UK, with both the IPC European Championships and the Paralympic Games providing platforms from which many athletes showcased exactly why they are commonly referred to as ‘superhumans’.
In our first end-of-year round-up, we take a look back at some of the key numbers which go some way to telling the story of 2016.
The amount of athletics medals won by ParalympicsGB at 2016’s Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil, including 15 golds – four more than won in London, with the team also smashing their medal target of 28 overall.
The distance of Aled Davies’ F42 Shot Put world record, set back in May in Arizona, USA. The Welshman has gone from strength to strength in 2016, winning double gold in the Shot and Discus at Grosseto’s European Championships in June before blowing away the competition at the Paralympic Games with a best throw of 15.97m to claim gold in the Shot.
Rio’s Paralympic Games saw veteran Stephen Miller win his sixth Paralympic medal (Club Throw bronze) in as many Paralympic Games, a record stretching back to 1996 in Atlanta, where the then 16-year-old became Club Throw champion as the youngest member of the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team.
The record-breaking amount of medals won by the British Athletics Para-Athletics team at the IPC European Championships in Grosseto. Of the 56, Dave Weir won 4 golds; Jonnie Peacock retained his title from 2014; Georgie Hermitage stormed to triple gold over 100m, 200m and 400m [T47], and Dan ‘Discus Dan’ Greaves added a European title to his lengthy list of achievements gained throughout his throwing career.
The world record time clocked by Georgie Hermitage as she sprinted to glory in the T37 100m, clinching her very first Paralympic title just three years after deciding to return to athletics competitively.
Hermitage had all but given up on sport as a teenager, only for a visit to London to watch the Olympic Games in 2012 to persuade her to give the sport a second chance. Now a European, World and Paralympic champion over multiple sprint disciplines, it’s fair to say the decision appears to have been the right one.
The milliseconds separating Libby Clegg and her guide Chris Clarke from the second-place Chinese pair of Guohua Zhou and Dengpu Jia in the T11 100m final, with the British pair edging over the line first to take gold in the very same year Libby was reclassified from T12 to T11. Just four days later the pair also won T11 200m gold in the Estádio Olímpico.
The number of British athletes who currently hold world records, including Hollie Arnold, T46 javelin; Sophie Hahn, T38 100m; Richard Whitehead, T42 200m; and Kadeena Cox, T38 400m among others.