Wollongong athlete James Turner wins gold at Rio Paralympics

Australia’s James Turner has won gold and set a world record at the Rio Paralympics.

The 20-year-old athlete, who has trained with Athletics Wollongong for the past year, blitzed the T36 800m field with a new mark of 2:02.29, seven seconds ahead of Britain's Paul Blake.

William Stedman of New Zealand claimed the bronze.

Turner switched to athletics after his Pararoo soccer squad missed qualifying for Rio.

Before leaving for the Paralympics, Turner was ranked No 2 in the world for his classification on times recorded. He is the Australian record holder.

Turner said he thought he’d have to shave two or three seconds off his personal best to bring home a gold medal.

The Mid North Coast athlete is studying a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at the University at Wollongong.

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