25th May 2018


The track in Nottwil proved especially fast for the athletes on day one of the World Para Athletics Grand Prix with a series of quick times.

10-time world champion Hannah Cockroft (coach: Jenni Banks) posted her fastest time over 200m since 2015. Her time of 30.64 (+0.1) saw her seal victory in the T34 race to kick start her Swiss series in style.

Cockroft spoke after the race:

“It was a pretty good start. I actually felt a lot faster than the time that came up so it’s a little frustrating as I have been chasing the 200m world record for three years. It’s not an event I train for as it isn’t in the Paralympic Games, so I’ll take it with a pinch of salt. I feel in really good shape so let’s see what happens for the rest of the week.”

She later returned to face the 800m – which she is reigning world and Paralympic champion in – crossing the line in 1:59.60.

The T54 200m races proved particularly interesting for the British athletes with several clocking lifetime bests in the process.

Richard Chiassaro (Banks) went under 25 seconds for the first time (not wind-assisted) with 24.42 (+0.7) to position himself third overall in the field behind Tunisia’s Yarbine Gharbi and Netherlands Kenny Van Weeghal.

“I’m delighted with the PB, it’s very close to the British record so I’m well happy. I just wanted to get as close to Yarbine and Kenny as possible – me and Kenny were almost neck and neck and Yarbine was just half a chair length in front so it is a positive.”

“To be as close to athletes as good as that today gives me a lot of confidence for the other events. I know those guys start better than me but I’m better when I reach top speed – the class is so strong but it makes it a great competition.”

The Harlow athlete also set a time of 1:34.67 over 800m later in the day to show his solid form, and he is keen to keep that up in the 400m later in the schedule.

“I’ve been under 46 seconds for the 400m before but I want to take that down even further. I’m looking at low 45s, maybe even sub 45 so that would be good.”

World and Commonwealth finalist Nathan Maguire (Ste Hoskins) recorded a significant personal best of 25.59 (+0.2); the race being his priority on day one of competition in Switzerland.

There was double celebration for Dillon Labrooy (Jenny Archer) who recorded two personal bests in the 200m and 800m; times of 27.03 and 1:37.38 respectively.

In the women’s equivalent, Eden Rainbow-Cooper (Archer) took a significant amount off her previous bests; she finished the day with 31.50 (+0.7) in the 200m and 2:02.15 over 800m, on the track where she competed at the inaugural World Para Athletics Junior Championships last August.

Ben Rowlings (Ian Mirfin) recorded 29.12 (+0.5) in the T34 200m and later 1:46.97 in the 800m whilst Toby Gold (Banks) produced a time of 30.65 (+0.6) over 200m.

There was a welcome return to the track for Mo Jomni (Jenny Archer) over 200m, with 27.54 (+0.6). Elsewhere, Olivia Gallagher (Archer) won the battle of the Brits in the women’s T33 200m, narrowly taking it with 46.08 (+0.1).

Results can be found on the Rollstuhlsport Schweiz app or here: http://www.rollstuhlsportevents.ch/en/