Ballard has claimed the bronze medal in her first Rio Paralympics final, the Women’s 100m T53 event.
Competing in an incredible fifth successive Paralympic Games, Ballard qualified third fastest for the final in a time of 16:80 but was able to better that in the final to record 16:59 for third place. The gold medal was won by Lisha Huang of China with 16:28 after she set a new World Record in the heats, posting a dazzling 16:19. Hongzhuan Zhou, also of China, captured the silver with a time of 16:51.
Ballard has won bronze in the Women’s 100m T53 twice before, Athens 2004 and London 2012. While world ranked in the 100m T53, Ballard’s favoured events are still to come in Rio with the 200m and 400m T53, both events in which she captured silver at London 2012. Ballard broke the 400m T53 world record last year in Switzerland and considers that moment the highlight of her illustrious career to date. Ballard strives to be an athlete who sets the standard and this wonderful first-up medal in Rio confirms her outstanding form.
Ballard has a huge wheelchair-racing programme in Rio with the 400m, 1500m, 4 x400m relay and 800m still to come. Ballard has now claimed, including this latest bronze, three silver and three bronze from Paralympic Games and will be chasing that elusive gold medal in her remaining events.