rio paralympics student success

Date published: May 05, 2016

Sport Science student Hannah qualifies for Rio Games

Sport Science student Hannah Russell is on her way to the Rio Paralympics after achieving the qualification time for the Games in August.

The 19-year-old partially-sighted student won a silver and two bronzes at the last Paralympics, aged just 16, and has since twice broken the world record for 100m backstroke.

Hannah qualified for this year’s tournament when she took the title in the Women’s 100m Freestyle in a time of 59.40 at the national Championships in Glasgow. Her time of 59.40 meant she was under the time required for qualification.

Our Sports Science student then went on to break the British record in the 50m freestyle in Glasgow completing in a time of 27.01, before going on to claim silver in the S12 50m freestyle at the IPC Swimming European Championships in Madeira on her road to Rio.

Hannah joined the University in September and juggles studies and training with aplomb, passing her first year exams while becoming World Champion in Glasgow.

In the national Championships in Glasgow, she took the title in the Women’s 100m Freestyle in a time of 59.40 – putting her under the consideration time for Rio 2016 Paralympic games.

Living a dream 

“I’m really pleased with that,” Russell said. “I’ve come back from the heats and improved in the finals. Going under the qualification time in the heats and finals is what I came here to do so I’m really happy with that. 

"Going to Rio is something I’ve dreamt about since I was younger."

“When I got selected for London it was a dream come true and going to Rio is something I’ve dreamt about since I was younger. I was one of the youngsters watching Ellie Simmonds winning gold in Beijing and that inspired me. For me to qualify and hopefully be selected is still a bit surreal.”

She was joined on the podium by four-time Paralympic champion Simmonds, who claimed the silver medal also achieving a time worthy of Rio nomination; 1:15.11.

Hannah appeared on Channel 4's programme The Superhumans on Saturday 30 April. Check it out here

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