Sydney University’s Angela Ballard set a new world record and won four gold medals on the opening day of the IPC Athletics Grand Prix in Nottwil, Switzerland, on Sunday.

The Commonwealth champion and former Sydney University Sport Scholarship holder set a world record in the women’s 400m wheelchair T53 event with a time of 54.73sec, bettering the mark of American Jessica Galli, who had set the standard at 54.88sec when she won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.

In a quality field, Ballard edged out American Chelsea McClammer, who claimed silver, and her training partner Madison de Rozario, who won the bronze medal.

But the day was not finished with the 400m world record. Ballard, who is coached by Paralympic legend Louise Sauvage, also secured gold in the women’s 100m T53, 200m T53 and 800m T53m in a stunning day on the track.

“I was hoping to do well in the series of racing we’ve got coming up but I didn’t expect that at all, I was more bothered about dealing with the wind,” the modest Ballard said.

“It was a very strong, so it was really helpful down the back straight and down the home straight I just pushed as hard as I could.

“The 400m is my favourite race. A lot of people hate it but it is something I have learned to love. It has given me great confidence for the next few races.”

Ballard, 32, is now primed for the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha later this year. She is a seven-time medallist at the event, including four (three silver, one bronze) at the Lyon 2013 instalment. She was later named the 2013 Para-Athlete of the Year by Athletics Australia.

In an illustrious career, Ballard has won five medals from the Paralympic Games, including silver in the 400m at London 2012. She also won the women’s T54 wheelchair 1500m at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year.