Cuban sprinter Omara Durand is aiming for yet another golden hat-trick at September’s Paralympic Games.
Last August the 24-year-old clinched three Parapan Am Games titles in Toronto, Canada, before going on to win three world golds in Doha, Qatar two months later.
Durand’s stand out performances last year confirmed she is back to full fitness after a three-year sabbatical from the track and the birth of her daughter Erika.
The visually impaired sprinter, who competes in the T12 class, became the fastest female Paralympian in the world when she clocked 11.65 seconds in the heats of the 100m T12 in Toronto; she went on to lower the 100m, 200m and 400m T12 world records on her way triple gold in the Middle East.
After that successful comeback, Durand feels ready to show the world once again why she is the fastest on the planet.
“I am fully focussed on giving my best and, hopefully, reaching the Paralympic podium in the three races,” said Durand whose 100m world record now stands at 11.48 seconds.
“My main goal is to run the fastest I can. I cannot say if I will break the world records or not, which is something that will be seen on the track once in Rio.
“I am so much looking forward to the Paralympic Games to start, I am sure it will be a fabulous spectacle.”
Ukraine’s Oxana Boturchuk, China’s Guohua Zhou and Azerbaijan’s Elena Chebanu are likely to be Durand’s main contenders, but if the Cuban performs to the best of her abilities, it will undoubtedly prove difficult for her rivals to defeat her. Durand prefers to remain cautious, though.
“All the athletes that compete at a Paralympic Games are strong, including the ones that will run against me,” she said.
“I am training very hard and expect the three races to be very competitive ones.”
Rio 2016 will be Durand’s third Paralympic Games. She competed at Beijing 2008 at only16-years-old, but an injury forced her out of the competition. “That was a really hard moment for me,” she said.
Durand bounced back at the 2011 World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, winning the 200m and 400m T13.
At London 2012, the Cuban sprinter again showed outstanding form to win her first two Paralympic golds, in the 100m and 400m T13.
With Rio 2016 fast approaching, Durand believes that motherhood has given her even more strength and she is more ready than ever to achieve her goals.
“I have become a stronger woman since I gave birth to my daughter and have a stronger desire to improve both as an athlete and as a person. I enjoy both responsibilities very much,” 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.