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Date published: August 23, 2016

Salford Student Hannah becomes double gold medalist at Rio Paralympics

Sports Science student Hannah Russell will return a Paralympic champion, after stunning crowds by winning two gold medals and a bronze at the games. 

The twenty-year-old got her games off to a strong start by winning the  S12 100m backstroke by a seismic six seconds ahead of the competition, smashing her own world record.

Then on Friday Hannah was in the pool again, competing in the Women’s S13 100m freestyle event, where she added a bronze medal to Team GB’s collection. Russell didn't stop there though, clinching her second gold medal a day later in the Women’s S12 50m freestyle.  

Senior lecturer in Sports Science Clare Marsh said: “I'm very proud of Hannah and I'm not surprised she has done well because she is such a talented individual who has made many sacrifices in her preparation for Rio. She has trained incredibly hard, and maintained her focus in her pursuit for Gold at Rio. Hannah doesn't let her partial-sightedness stop her in anything she does, which is why she is an excellent student, athlete and role model”.

Hannah’s success at Rio means that she has surpassed her performance at London 2012, where aged 16 she took home a respectable silver medal and two bronze medals.

Computer science student Joana Calado, who studies a (Bsc) in Multimedia & Internet Computing, was also in action in Rio. She competed in the Women’s SB8 100m breaststroke for her native Portugal.

The 24-year-old narrowly missed out on a podium position, but her appearance at the games was still impressive given that it came following a long period of retirement. Calado last competed at a Paralympic games in Beijing 2008, where aged just 15 she was the youngest member of the Portuguese team. 

Speaking before her race, Dr David Newton, the Head of Discipline in Computer Science, said:

“Joana has always thrown herself with 100% enthusiasm into her studies, her extra-curricula student activities and, of course, her incredible determination to compete at the Rio Paralympics. Quite the super-dynamo, Joana brings a sense of self-confidence and determination that is infectious to her fellow students.”

Several members of staff at The University of Salford also participated at Rio 2016.  

Andy Miah, a bioethicist and Professor of Science Communication and Future Media, attended his eighth Olympic games. Andy was giving advice to athletes on social media usage, working with the International Olympic Committee on future media issues. 

Senior lecturer in Sports Rehabilitation Lee Herrington was also at Rio 2016. He was working closely with Team GB, working as one of the official Team GB physios. Dr Herrington had a similar role with Team GB at the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games and at the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan. 

Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sport Business was a guest of the British Council in Rio, and also spoke at COPPEAD Business School. An expert in the marketing of sport and the finances behind sports events, Professor Chadwick was recently outspoken about how sponsors were ambushed by unofficial brands at Euro 2016.

Well done to all the students and staff from The University of Salford who were involved at Rio 2016!

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