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Sport Science student Hannah qualifies for Rio Games

Tuesday 26 April 2016

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.

In September, she enrolled on the University of Salford’s Sport Science degree 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.

See Hannah this Saturday morning on Channel 4's programme The Superhumans