Cuba’s Omara Durand dreaming of the Paralympic podium

The world’s fastest female Paralympian is a strong contender for three titles at Rio 2016 – but her focus is on her preparation. 07 Sep 2016
Omara Durand of Cuba

Omara Durand of Cuba celebrates winning the women's 200m T12 final during the Evening Session at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

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Cuba’s world and Paralympic champion Omara Durand is hungry for more glory ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where she aims to win a hat-trick of titles in the 100m, 200m and 400m T12.

The 24-year-old took a three-year sabbatical from the track following the birth of her daughter, Erika, in 2012.

Durand’s huge comeback was last year, when she claimed three Parapan American titles in Toronto, Canada, followed by another triple gold at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

In Rio, the world’s fastest female Paralympian will be running the 100m (8 September), 200m (11 September) and 400m T12 (15 September) and will be the hot favourite to claim another triple victory.

“My main objective is to be fully focused on giving my best on the track. And obviously, my biggest dream is to reach the Paralympic podium again,” she said.

“I am fully focused on giving my best and, hopefully, reaching the Paralympic podium in the three races.

“My main goal is to run the fastest I can. I cannot say if I will break the world records or not – that will be seen on the track in Rio.

“I have had the opportunity to travel to Rio many times and I like it very much, it is such a welcoming city.

“I am so much looking forward to the Paralympic Games to start, I am sure it will be a fabulous spectacle.”

Despite the expectations on her, Durand’s focus remains solely on reaching the Paralympics in the best possible shape.

“I am training very hard and expect the three races to be very competitive,” she said. “All the athletes at a Paralympic Games are strong.”

This will be Durand´s third Paralympic Games, after competing at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

“I was 16-years-old when I competed at Beijing 2008, and it was hard for me not being able to achieve a Paralympic medal due to an injury,” she said.

Four years later, Durand got her revenge taking gold in the 100m and 400m T13 in London, England.

Last year, the Cuban participated in the “Road to the Games” programme organised by the Agitos Foundation, the development arm of the International Paralympic Committee.

“Being part of the Agitos Foundation programme was an enriching experience for me. It is thanks to the Agitos Foundation that the world started to know more about me,” she said.

Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).

The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.

Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.

Visa International is the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Paralympic Games.