Cuban sprinter Omara Durand is one of those Para athletes who never tire of breaking marks and blasting barriers. She is one of the brightest stars in this division of high performance sports and the fastest woman in the world.

Omara Durand Elías was born in Santiago de Cuba on November 26, 1991. Born with a congenital degenerative cataract, from the age of 7 she showed all her power on the slopes with triumphs in the 100, 200 and 400 meters, accumulating to date 11 Parapan American titles, 5 Paralympic gold medals and world records in the three tests. . Omara transformed her disability into the strength to pursue as distinguished a sporting career as possible.

In 2007, when she was only 15 years old, she participated in the World Championship for people with visual disabilities, held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she won the titles in 100 and 200 meters. That year, she would also be titled the Parapan American champion for the first time in Rio de Janeiro.

In 2011 she achieved the gold medal in the 200 meters in the T13 category of the World Para Athletics Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, with a time of 24.24 seconds to break the world record of 24.45 set by the American Marla Runyan in 1995, a mark which was already 26 years old. She also broke the world record in the 100 meters T13 during the athletics competitions of the IV Parapan American Games in Guadalajara 2011, when she stopped the clocks at 11.99 seconds, becoming the first woman in her category to lower the 12-second barrier.

In 2015 at the V Parapan American Games in Toronto, she won the gold medal in the 100 meters T12 with a time of 11.86 seconds, setting another world record. Her second gold medal came in the 400m T12 with a time of 56.96 seconds.

“I really experience a metamorphosis when I step on the track. I am another person ”declared Omara in the year 2020 to a Cuban digital medium. Affirmations of an athlete who by herself defines the advances that Para athletics has had: “I've been in this for a long time and that has allowed me to see the growth for myself. The sport is booming, there is a phenomenal development. The proof is that in the beginning I could win a 200-meter test with 25 seconds, but now we have to go down from 24 seconds to think about the podium ”.

To crown and recognize all her achievements, she received a great tribute at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games, of which she has the most beautiful memories: “What happened in Lima was something unique, a privilege, because a tribute like this has never been done to a Paralympic athlete and that means that I lived the moment with great pride. I continue to get excited about the sensations of that day, ”Omara recalls in the same Cuban digital medium, an appointment in which she also won another three gold medals to complete 11 Parapan American triumphs, added to the five gold medals in the London 2012 Paralympic Games and Rio 2016.

These days, the Cuban sprinter leads a group of Para athletes that will compete in the Tunis Grand Prix to be held from March 18th through the 20th. The goal is to optimize her preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Omara Durand, one of our Parapan American legends who continues to write her story.

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