Kazakhstan’s Special Olympics Team Gets First Summer Paralympic Games Medal
A 50-year-old Zulfiya Gabidullina broke her own world record to claim the women’s 100m freestyle S3 title and ensure a first Summer Paralympic Games medal for Kazakhstan.
Gabidullina, hit by a motorbike and suffered spinal cord injuries when she was five years of age, posted a time of 1:30.07 to comfortably better the 1:34.86 she set earlier this year.
She had considered retiring from the sport having finished second-last in her only race at London 2012, the 50m backstroke S4, but her coach, Sattar Beysembayev encouraged her to continue training.
“My coach told me that everything comes gradually, and not all at once,” Gabidullina, a former wheelchair racer, said.
“You can’t jump over the sun and the moon or reach the stars all at once.
“You need to work hard and then you can accomplish anything.”