JUMPING FOR JOY: James Turner celebrates after winning gold in the Men's 800m T36 final.
JUMPING FOR JOY: James Turner celebrates after winning gold in the Men's 800m T36 final. Hagen Hopkins

Turner setting new goals, world records as runner

ATHLETICS: Running the 800m wasn't on James Turner's radar for Rio.

In fact, track and field wasn't either.

The Wollongong-based athlete had been a member of the Para-Roos, the seven-a-side soccer team.

"Without them I wouldn't be here today. I was actually spotted by Athletics Australia while playing with the Para-Roos,” he said.

"The Para-Roos didn't make it to Rio and Athletics Australia sent me an email saying 'hey do you want to run 800m, are you any good at it?' So I gave it a shot and I guess I'm all right at.”

Turner has turned out to be better than all right - winning gold and claiming the world record in the 800m T36 race.

Turner went out hard early, blitzed the field and was never challenged.

His time was almost three seconds faster than the previous world record - a stunning run for the 20-year-old who has cerebral palsy.

Turner said he was happy he could run the race he had planned.

"I was really looking for a PB,” he said.

"I wanted to see if I could get a world record and if I stuck to my splits I knew I could do it, and I'm happy I was able to pull it off.”

Turner said he was looking forward to more big competitions in the future.

"I'm really excited to see how far I can take this,” he said.


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