RaceRunning made a successful debut at the IWAS (International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation) World Games 2011 held in Sharjah, UAE, during December. Over 900 athletes and 47 countries competed across 7 sports, with RaceRunning being included as one of the sports for the first time.
The inclusion of RaceRunning at such a prestigious world event represents a major development milestone for the sport, particularly as RaceRunning was very well received at the Games and there was a lot of interest expressed in the sport. Thank you to Denmark, Scotland and Sweden for attending the Games at such short notice and particularly their athletes who all competed and represented their countries and their sport so well.
10 RaceRunners, 4 from Denmark, 4 from Sweden and 2 from Scotland competed in the 8 RaceRunning events (Male / Female: 100m, 200m, 400m & 800m). Classification groups were combined and medals were awarded using a points system referenced to relevant classification senior world records. This meant to have a chance to win Gold in an event, an athlete had to exceed or go close to the event senior world record for their class.
All athletes competed well and exceptional times were achieved. Nine senior world records were beaten and 14 new junior world records set, which is particularly impressive based on the small number of competitors. The athletes that set new world records were Gavin Drysdale (Scotland), Henrik Eriksson (Sweden), Kayleigh Haggo (Scotland), Victor Hanssen (Sweden) and Helle Ladefoged (Denmark).
Scotland topped the medals with 8 Gold (Gavin Drysdale and Kayleigh Haggo winning 4 Gold each), Denmark won 7 Silver and 2 Bronze and Sweden 2 Bronze.
The next IWAS event to include RaceRunning will be the IWAS Junior Athletics – World Championships 2012 to be held in the Czech Republic 17 to 22 July, 2012.