Hannah Cockroft: Some world records are more special than others

The seven-time Paralympic champion is still seeing records tumble more than a decade after breaking her first

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Hannah Cockroft and fellow Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock attended the launch of Every Body Moves powered by Toyota on Monday (British Paralympic Association)

By Alec McQuarrie

All of 'Hurricane' Hannah Cockroft's world records are special, but some are more special than others.

The Halifax wheelchair racer is gearing up for her sixth World Championships in Paris this July, a fitting warm up for a bid to defend her T34 100m and 800m Olympic titles next year.

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The 30-year-old broke her first world record before taking her A-levels in May 2010 and seven more tumbled in a matter of weeks.

Then last month, the seven-time Paralympic gold medallist set four more world records in three days, and her time of 1:44.43 in the 800m is one she will remember for a long time.

Speaking at the launch of ParalympicsGB’s new initiative Every Body Moves powered by Toyota Cockroft said: “Some world records I’m prouder of than others.

“For the 800m world record I did a 1:44 which is the fastest that any British woman has ever done, able bodied or disabled, any classification, any disability.

“I never thought that my name would be next to that kind of British record. A 1:44 felt impossible and yet going out on that track, I could do it.

“You talk to athletes and they have goals, targets and dreams like everybody and that time always felt like it would remain a dream.

“But then I took almost five seconds off my previous world record to do it.”

It has even reached the point that setting a new world best time is not enough for the Paralympian.

Cockroft said: “I think I’ve been in a very privileged position where every personal best I break is a world record.

“Sometimes I come off the track and I’m a little frustrated and people ask me, you broke the world record, why are you frustrated? It’s because I think I could have done more.

“When I went under 17 seconds for the first time in the 100m, becoming the second woman ever to do that, I was so unbelievably proud.

“I’m always aiming for these little things. They’re all great because it means I’m getting faster and that is always the goal, but some of them mean a little more than others.”

Cockroft and fellow Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock were present at the launch of Every Body Moves powered by Toyota on Monday

Every Body Moves is an evolution of the award-winning Parasport powered by Toyota platform which has grown to become the nation’s largest online destination connecting people with thousands of inclusive sporting and physical activities.

Cockroft said the initiative would bring new possibilities to those looking to emulate her unprecedented success.

Cockroft said: “For so long, it’s been so difficult and there have been so many doors shut in disabled people’s faces, in terms of how you get fit, how you get active.

“Today those doors are finally opening and hopefully people are realising they can do anything they want to do, get active and get moving.

“There was nothing like this when I was younger and I really, really wish there was. It is a game-changer because it would have been for me growing up, definitely.”