Britain’s Hannah Cockroft set a women’s 800 metres T34 world record at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland today in her first international race since 2019.
On an overcast day that later gave way to rain, the 28-year-old from Halifax, who has five Paralympic and 11 world titles, clocked 1min 50.91sec.
"I trained very hard in lockdown," she told World Para Athletics.
"I spent a lot of time inside, in the gym in my garage and it is nice to be back on the track.
"It's nice to be racing again and I just enjoyed myself."
? IT'S A NEW WORLD RECORD! ?— Para Athletics (@ParaAthletics) May 14, 2021
⏱️1:50.91@HCDream2012 ?? set a new WR in the women's 800m T34 on her first international race since Dubai 2019!
*Record subject to ratification by World Para Athletics#Nottwil2021 @ParalympicsGB @BritAthletics @Paralympics pic.twitter.com/roeye4H6Mc
A total of 272 athletes from 47 nations were also getting the welcome feel of competition at the Sport Arena in Nottwil.
Cockroft’s compatriot Samantha Kinghorn also had a notable day in the T53 category as she won the 200m in 29.04 and the 800m in 1:49.55.
In one of the most compelling and competitive of the day’s events, the women’s T54 800m, victory went to home racer Manuela Schar, a marathon winner at Boston, London, Chicago and New York since 2017, in 1min 44.39sec from Susannah Scaroni of the United States, who clocked 1:48.03, and Germany’s Merle Menje, third in 1:48.89.
Scaroni’s illustrious compatriot Tatyana McFadden - seven times Paralympic champion, 13 times world champion and multiple major marathon winner - was sixth in 1:51.55.
The men’s T54 800m drew a similarly medal-laden field, with victory going to 22-year-old Daniel Romanchuk of the United States in 1min 33.37sec.
How many World Major Marathon titles can be at the same time on the same track❓?— Para Athletics (@ParaAthletics) May 14, 2021
Daniel Romanchuk (@RomanchukDaniel ) ?? and Marcel Hug (@MarcelEricHug ) ?? competing in #Nottwil2021 GrandPrix! #ParaAthletics @SwissParalympic @TeamUSA @SwissParalympic pic.twitter.com/QV9pj2XeAk
Romanchuk, who won world gold in this event at Dubai in 2019 and has won marathons in Chicago, New York, Boston and London thus gained another victory over his perennial rival Marcel Hug, double Paralympic champion and nine times world champion, whom he has twice beaten in marathons by a single second.
The Swiss racer finished third today on his home track, clocking 1:34.60 behind France’s Julien Casoli, who recorded 1:34.01.
Among the entrants for the men’s T54 200m was nine-year-old home racer Adrian Ruf, who finished 17th in 54.22sec in a race won by Finland’s Leo-Pekka Tahti in 24.71.
The Grand Prix is due to conclude on Sunday.