15/04/2024
Madi de Rozario

Madi de Rozario sets a new Paralympic Record to win Gold in the Women's 800m T53. Photo: Paralympic Games/Twitter

In Paralympic Record time Madi de Rozario has secured Australia's eighth gold medal by winning the Women's 800m T53.

On day five in Tokyo, Australian Madi de Rozario has won Gold in the Women’s T53 800m, setting a new Paralympic Record in the process.

In her fourth Paralympic Games, de Rozario was able to build on her fifth placing in the 5000m T54 and finally claim an elusive gold medal.

At Rio, she took home Silver in the 800m race – decided by a matter of milliseconds. However, in Tokyo, she will be the one wearing Gold.

Her time in Tokyo, 1:45.99, was 1.46 seconds faster than the previous Paralympic Record and just 0.46 off her own World Record set in Canberra in 2019.

Earlier on Sunday morning during qualifying at the track, de Rozario was in the first heat and automatically qualified as the fastest finisher. Her time was 1:49.21 and a little slower than she’d like to go.

It was another example of athletes having to back up their performance on the same day when the starting gun went off in the final less than nine hours after qualifying.

De Rozario went out quickly in Lane 5 and built across the first lap, but her speed on the second lap was something to behold. She got out to a commanding lead and despite having this gap, she pushed even harder in the final straight to set a new Paralympic Record.

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The Australian was more than two seconds faster than silver medallist, and previous record holder, Zhou Hongzhuan of China, who had a season-best time of 1:47.66.

Catherine Debrunner claimed Bronze for Switzerland with a time of 1:47.90, just edging out Great Britain’s Samantha Kinghorn who also had a season-best 1:47.94.

Fellow Australian Angela Ballard finished in seventh, with a season-best time of 1:52.22.

De Rozario has one more event to race at the track, the 1500m T54. Qualifying for this event is on Monday evening.

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