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Looking towards athletics in Rio: T52 women’s world records

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This article is part of a ParaSport News series of articles looking at athletics world records and world records progression.


The T52 class, like the T51, is a wheelchair athletics class that includes people with a number of different types of disabilities.  People from cerebral palsy class CP2, Les Autres class LAF1 and spinal cord injury classes F2 and F3 can often be found in it.  The class is for people who have minimal to no leg and trunk functionality, and who derive most of their strength from their shoulders and elbows.  They tend to have injuries that correspond with C7 or C8 lesion on the spinal cord.


Like T52, there is a lack of data about historical progression in this class.  With 10 records available from the IPC and having checked other sources, there are no duplicates to check.  The class has historically been dominated in recent years by Belgian Marieke Vervoort and Canadian Michelle Stilwell. 37-year-old Vervoort holds current world records in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:24.47 set in May 2014, 1:04.87 in the 400 meters set at home in Kortrijk in July 2013, 14:47.55 in the 5,000 meters set in May 2014, and 2:06.76 in the 800 meters set in May of last year at home in Oordegem.


42-year-old Stilwell owns a pair of world records in the shorter distances, with a time of 0:18.67 in the 100 meters set at home in Windsor, Ontario in July 2012 and a time of 0:33.19 in the 200 meters set in Canberra, Australia in January 2013.


Among the remaining records, the oldest one dates to 1993 and was set by New Zealander Cristeen Smith in the women’s P52/P53 pentathlon at Stoke Mandeville with a score of 5167.  The next oldest was set by Czech athlete Martina Kniezkova in the women’s discus with a throw of 15.28 meters at the 2004 Summer Paralympics.


Event Type Family Name Given Name NPC Birth Result Wind Date City Country
Women’s 100 m Stilwell Michelle CAN 1974 0:18.67 +1.7 2012-07-14 Windsor Canada
Women’s 1500 m Vervoort Marieke BEL 1979 4:24.47 2014-05-17 Nottwil Switzerland
Women’s 200 m Stilwell Michelle CAN 1974 0:33.19 +1.6 2013-01-21 Canberra Australia
Women’s 400 m Vervoort Marieke BEL 1979 1:04.87 2013-07-14 Kortrijk Belgium
Women’s 5000 m Vervoort Marieke BEL 1979 14:47.55 2014-05-18 Nottwil Switzerland
Women’s 800 m Vervoort Marieke BEL 1979 2:06.76 2015-05-30 Oordegem Belgium
Women’s Discus Throw Kniezkova Martina CZE 1975 15.28 2004-09-20 Athens Greece
Women’s Javelin Balek Antonia CRO 1968 13.46 2009-06-03 Wedau, Duisburg Germany
Women’s Pentathlon Smith Cristeen NZL 5167 1993-08-05 Stoke Mandeville Great Britain
Women’s Shot Put Mitchell Cassie USA 1981 6.14 2013-06-16 San Antonio, Texas United States



Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2569 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees. She has a PhD in Communications from the University of Canberra.

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