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15 Sep 2004
IOC News

Paralympic Games: two days to go!

In two days the Paralympic Games will be opened in the Olympic Stadium in Athens.
Paralympic athletes will demonstrate their extraordinary talents and beat some new records that sometimes even exceed able-bodied athletes’ performances.

Records exceed able-bodied performances
Many records set by athletes with a disability can be compared to those set by their able-bodied counterparts, for example: In power lifting, currently four men's and two women's world records are held by athletes with a disability. In several cases, the Paralympic records are significantly better than the records of able-bodied athletes by up to 14.5 kilograms.

Fast over 100 meters
In the men's 100m sprint, the world record of 10.72 seconds, held by Adjibola Adeoye (NIG), an athlete with an upper limb amputation, is only 0.94 seconds more than the able-bodied world record of 9.78 seconds held by Tim Montgomery (USA). The world record in the women's 100m sprint of 12.28 seconds, held by Marla Runyan(USA) who has a visual impairment, is only 1.79 seconds more than the able-bodied world record of 10.49 seconds held by Florence Griffith Joyner (USA).

Close to Popov’s record
In swimming, the men's 50m freestyle record held by the Paralympic athlete Andrey Strokin (RUS) (24.67) is only 3.03 seconds more than the able-bodied record held by Alexander Popov (RUS) (21.64).

Wheelchairs as an advantage
Proving that a wheelchair is not a disadvantage, but sometimes an advantage, a number of athletics records set by athletes with a disability are significantly faster than their able-bodied counterparts: In the men's 800m, the record held by Ernst Van Dyk (RSA) (1:32.17) is 8.94 seconds better than the record held by Wilson Kipketer (DEN) (1:41.11).

Amazing records in marathons
In the women's Marathon, the record by Tsuchida Wakado (JPN) (1:38:32) is 36:53 minutes better than the record held by Paula Radcliff (GBR) (2:15:25). In the men's Marathon, Heinz Frei (SUI) (1:20:14) holds a record which exceeds Paul Tergat’s (KEN) record (2:04:55) by 44:41 minutes.
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