How Did 13-Year Old Tiffany Kane Break a World Record? (Race Video)

Special contribution to SwimSwam by Tom Miazga.

Braden sent me a text yesterday to take a look at a comment that was immediately posted after SwimSwam had  reported  Australia’s Tiffany Thomas Kane’s incredible SB6 100m Breaststroke at IPC Swimming World Championships. Kane, a 13 year-old, is fairly new to the Paralympic Scene but made her presence well-known with an incredible WR performance. With her young age, yes, it is incredibly remarkable and feels similar to a once 13-year old Jessica Long. I won’t deny that a 13 year-old breaking a world record may seem unorthodox, but to comment she was clearly wrongly classed is awfully naive.

I understand that many people currently have their qualms with the classification system and often discuss the topic with trepidation, never knowing who may be listening. With recent discrepancies that have taken place and plenty of experience with the system, I’d be lying if I said I agree the system is flawless. Nonetheless, in Tiffany’s case, her disability and classification is a near perfect fit with the SB6 guidelines. So much so, that to challenge it would be disrespectful to the clear talent she showcased two nights ago.

Briefly, there are classification guidelines that do not provide opportunity  for “grey areas”. S6, for instance, is designed for athletes with short stature, hence why dwarfism dominates the class. S11 in similar fashion is for athletes with a complete loss of vision. Either you’ve got it or you are in a different class.  Kane, evidently afflicted with dwarfism, is entirely classed correctly. It should be of note that most S6’s stay SB6 for breaststroke as the guideline for the class does not waiver much. Again, the class is dominated by dwarfism, so as the IPC strives to accomplish in the system, everyone is of near abilities.

Finally, watch her race. The amount of water she catches with each stroke is incredibly remarkable. With limited opportunity to reach and stretch the kick as fluidly as possible, her stroke is above and beyond anything I have seen from a SB6 breaststroke. Her timing, head position, and ability to drive both her hands and chest forward deserves far more respect than a frustrated assumption.

Being a Paralmypic swimmer myself, I have never seen any of my teammates as disabled individuals. It can be an interesting site when you gander upon your first race in the Paralympic atmosphere. However, Tiffany’s stroke and talent proves the elite level and dedication that Paralympic swimmers, and athletes in any sport, have towards their passion and dreams.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

Her world record was impressive, no doubt, but did anyone notice that the woman in lane 5 who finished second HAD NO LEGS?!!

Reply to  CraigH
5 years ago

How about the S6 chinese swimmer does backstroke and butterfly with no arms and he is fast!

lovely swim
Reply to  CraigH
5 years ago

Without a doubt, a lovely swim and a talented breastroker. There are height restrictions in the S6 class and I am sure that she will fall below these.

5 years ago

That is awesome!!

Gina Rhinestone
5 years ago

Some people are just natural breastrokers – we have had 14 year old & 15 year old able bodied olympic champs in 92 96 2000 2012 .

There are less overall numbers in para swimming so logically a 13 year old of similar talent could break through . Tiffany is like a perfect mini person & could bring a lot of attention to para swimming . Charlotte in 2nd should have us all down the pool doing breastroke pulls ( probably close for pull ups for able bodied ) & yes she does have legs – just not fhe full limb.