By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – By the end of Sunday, September 11th, the Rio 2016 Paralympics’ fourth day of competitions, over one hundred Paralympic world records have been overtaken. Only four days into the Games, the greatest 4,300-plus para-athletes in the world are already nearly halfway to surpassing the 2012 London Paralympic total of 251 records broken.
The one hundredth Rio 2016 Paralympic world record to be broken occurred early Sunday at the Olympic Aquatic Center at Olympic Park when Chinese swimmer Liu Benying set the new S2 50m men’s freestyle record at 54.05s.
Host nation Brazil also took part in the run on world records on Sunday at the Olympic Stadium at Engenho de Dentro. In front of an electrifying home crowd, Brazilian Petrucio Ferreira dos Santos won gold and set a new world record in the men’s T47 100m final, running a time of 10.57s. At the time of writing, fifteen world records were broken on Sunday.
The Rio 2016 Paralympics got underway with a bang on day one, Thursday, September 8th, with 34 world records falling, the most of any day so far.
On Friday, September 9th, 31 more world records met their demise, and on Saturday, September 10th, another 24 records tumbled. “There have been an unusual number of world records at the Paralympics and the Olympics,” Rio 2016 communications director Mario Andrada told the website, Around the Rings.
“I think it may be partly because in the swimming there is no diving tank on the side so it is a faster pool,” he added. “Also the same thing happened in the velodrome because the course is not symmetrical with one side sloped more than the other.”
Despite the design of the venues as a possible explanation for the pace of records falling, Andrada made sure to emphasize the efforts of the athletes themselves, “Also it is important that the results should all be attributed to the achievements of the athletes here who are doing an amazing job.”
Competition records are not the only ones falling as Rio 2016 announced yesterday that a record 170,000 tickets were sold for the Paralympics’ first Saturday (September 10th) in Olympic Park at Barra da Tijuca. The impressive figure represents more tickets than were sold during any single day during the Rio 2016 Olympics.