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3 Canadian Records at Swiss Championships!

Posted on August 16th, by Josh Cassidy in wheelchair racing. No Comments


Guelph based Paralympian, Josh Cassidy has returned from the Swiss Track Championships, Arbon, 24th to 27th June, with a trio of Canadian records and a world ‘top 4’ performance.  Cassidy, maintained his ‘fantastic four’ status in his favourite 10,000m event where a Paralympic final-style finish wowed the crowds.

From the outset of the 25 lap endurance event, Cassidy, Hug of Switzerland, Fearnley of Australia, and the Thai Waharoum (the latter two Paralympic Gold medalists) set a blistering pace.  Work-horse, Cassidy, did his share heading the pack as other athletes quickly dropped off the tail end.  He stayed close to friend and rival Marcel Hug (the Swiss athlete who Cassidy beat in this year’s Virgin London Marathon).  Cassidy and Hug worked together to maintain pace and stay at front.  It was a familiar picture for Cassidy fans to see him contesting first place on the final bend but as they came onto the straight it was Hug who kicked ahead.  Fearnley and Waharoum (both Paralympic gold medallists) also joined Cassidy, forming a shoulder to shoulder V6 for the final 100m sprint – heads down, arms pumping!  At the line, Hug won in 19:50:64, a new world record by 25 seconds.  Then came the dash of the titans for 2nd, 3rd and 4th with Cassidy just edged out by Fearnley 19:51.03 and Waharoum 19:51.23.  Cassidy’s time for 4th place set a new Canadian record of 19:51.54. Said Cassidy, “I was feeling strong and relaxed for this event.  Conditions were very hot, very windy and the track was smoking fast, us top guys were pulling 43-44 second laps a few times.“

“I should have taken second in the race but just missed that little extra in the final kick and that is what I am now working on with my coach Amanda Fader.

Coach Fader, said “We have worked on Josh’s flat out speed, moving him from top 12 to top 5 in the space of a year;  and he has just smashed 25 seconds off the old 10K world record with his co-racers.  We are now working on upping his finishing power output to iron out the advantage that many of Josh’s competitors have over him in a sprint – much ‘lighter’ legs or leg amputations.

In the 1500m, Cassidy set a new Canadian record of 2:55.73, 3.5 seconds faster than the previous record set by Jeff Adams in 2003. He finished 5th, 1.22 seconds off the Swiss winner, Marcel Hug’s new WR time of 2:54.51.

In the 800m, Cassidy placed 5th with a personal best of 1:35.72.

Problems with steering in the 5000m left Cassidy in 7th place but still another personal best and a new Canadian record at 9:55.13, 0.4 seconds from passing the old world record which was beat by Hug at 9:53.05.

Cassidy’s final word; “I am happy.  Despite a grumbling arm strain problem, my pushing felt like a jog in the park, I wasn’t winded at all.  I have lots of time to work on my sprint and get my max finishing speed up.  I can’t wait to see what I can do by the time of World Championships this January in New Zealand.

Cassidy is in Atlanta now for 5K and 10K road races.

Some video links below for two 5000m races.. I’m in the silver and red chair, wearing white and red with black helmet.

^^^Marcel Hug World Record performance

^^More tactical race with top guys from around the world.

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