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James Turner of Australia competes in the Men's 200m T36 Final at the London 2017 World Para Athletics Championships.

James Turner


Australian James Turner has shown terrific form at the last two major global events – Rio 2016 and London 2017 - having only taken up Para athletics in 2015.

A former Para football player, he switched to Para athletics after the Australian national Para football seven-a-side team failed to qualify for Rio 2016.

At the Rio Paralympic Games he raced to gold in the 800m T36 after setting a terrific pace from the gun, crossing the line in world record time (2:02.39). He was subsequently awarded the Medal of Order of Australia in recognition of his success.

Less than 12 months later at the 2017 World Championships in London, Great Britain, Turner was at it again – but never mind one title, the Wollongong athlete claimed a hat trick of gold medals with wins in the 200m, 400m and 800m T36, dominating every race.

Having broken the 200m T36 world record in the heats, clocking 24.15, Turner went back out 24 hours later and knocked a further 0.06 off his best.


Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Cerebral Palsy

Further personal information

Canberra, ACT, AUS
Higher education
Mechanical Engineering - University of Wollongong: Australia

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up Para athletics in 2015.
Why this sport?
He switched to Para athletics after the Australian national Para football seven-a-side team failed to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games.
Club / Team
Athletics Wollongong: Australia
Name of coach
Iryna Dvoskina [national], AUS

International debut

Competing for

General interest

Jimmy (Twitter profile, 31 Mar 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Making his debut for Australia in Para football seven-a-side at the 2012 Dream Asia Cerebral Palsy Tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (, 2016)
Most influential person in career
His twin sister Hayley. (, 03 May 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I'd like to be able to push my limits of what my classification can do, to see how far I can take it." (, 03 May 2018)
Awards and honours
In 2016 and 2017 he was named Sports Person of the Year by the University of Wollongong in Australia. (, 27 Oct 2017)

In January 2017 he received the Medal of the Order of Australia [OAM] in recognition of the gold medal he won at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (, 28 Jan 2017)

He was named the 2016 Paralympic Rookie of the Year by the Australian Paralympic Committee [APC]. (, 09 Dec 2016)
Other sports
He has played Para football seven-a-side for Australia, and was named the 2013 Para Football Player of the Year by Football Federation Australia [FFA]. (, 2016;, 2013)
To win gold at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (, 19 Jan 2017)
Other information
He sought help from a sports psychologist following the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where he had won gold and broken the world record in the T36 800m. He believes his issues stemmed from childhood, when he was never able to beat the other children at school, and as a result he had promised himself that one day he would be the best at something. "I won [in Rio de Janeiro], I broke the world record and everything was the same. I wasn't profoundly changed, I was still the same guy. I came to realise that nothing that I did would fix all my problems and that was a hard realisation for me." (, 03 May 2018)


Unit Date Rank
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 800 m T36 Final Round 2016-09-17 1
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m T36 Heat 2 2017-07-16 1
Men's 200 m T36 Final 1 2017-07-17 1
Men's 400 m T36 Final 1 2017-07-21 1
Men's 800 m T36 Final 1 2017-07-23 1