James Turner Para-athletics Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

James Turner set a new Paralympic Record on the way to gold in the Men's 400m T36 in Tokyo. (Photo: Channel 7 Twitter)

James Turner continues his dominance on the athletics track, winning gold in a Paralympic Record time in the Men's 400m T36 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

Australian runner James Turner has won gold in the Men’s 400m T36 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, claiming a new Paralympic Record along the way.

The current World Record holder in the event with a time of 51.71 from the World Para Athletics Championship in Doha in November 2019, Turner proved his dominance on the track with another gold-medal-winning race in Tokyo.

The first-place finish in Tokyo makes Turner a two-time Paralympic gold medallist after claiming gold at Rio 2016 in the Men’s 800m T36 event.

Turner’s time of 52.80 at the Paralympic Games this year set a new Paralympic Record, beating a time that had been set nine years ago at London 2012, by eventual Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Evgenii Shvetsov.

Positioned in lane three for this race, the 25-year-old started off the blocks well to give himself a slight edge and push hard from the outset, challenged early by eventual bronze medallist, New Zealand’s William Stedman.

Unfazed by his opponents, Turner powered on and maintained a lead that continued to grow during the middle parts of the race.

Heading into the final turn and the last 100m, Evgenii Shvetsov of the RPC was closing in fast as Turner was looking sore.

However, in the last 50m, the Australian was determined to cross the line and completed the race .80 seconds ahead of Shvetsov who won silver.

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The athlete from Penrith in New South Wales, Turner was originally involved in Australia’s seven-a-side football squad, the Pararoos before switching to athletics following the team unable to qualify for Rio 2016.

Somewhat of a blessing, the move to the track allowed Turner to flourish and make a name for himself. Since bursting onto the scene in Rio, Turner has not fallen below a first-placed gold medal finish at a Paralympic Games or World Championships, this race keeping that trend in tow.

At Rio 2016 – his first event representing Australia -, Turner broke the Men’s 800m T36 World Record with a time of 2:02.39, more than seven seconds ahead of his closest rival. It was a feat the earned him to be named Paralympic Rookie of the Year in 2016.

Over the course of 2017 and 2019, at the World Championships, Turner won back-to-back Men’s 400m T36 events. He also won the Men’s 800m T36 and 200m T36 in 2017 in London and the 100m T36 race in 2019 in Dubai.

Turner’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic campaign isn’t over just yet, racing in the Men’s 100m T36 on Day 9 where he’ll be looking to defend his World Record set in 2019 and win another gold medal.

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