Writing

The female Paralympian athletes you need to know

The Paralympics kicks off tomorrow, and Sophie Morgan – part of Channel 4's Games presenting team – tells us who to look out for

Sarah Storey

Sarah Storey

Dame Sarah Storey has eleven gold, eight silver and three bronze medals to her name and will compete in up to four events over both the track and road cycling events. She is widely expected to dominate in the C5 classification and could therefore overtake Paralympic champion Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson to become the most successful British Paralympian of all-time in Rio, her seventh Paralympic Games.

See her first: C5 3000m Individual Pursuit; 8 Sept

Omara Durand

Omara Durand

Cuban Omara Durand is back on form after a three-year sabbatical and the birth of her daughter Erika. Motherhood, she says, has made her a stronger woman, and if last year's world record breaking performances are anything to go by, this 24-year-old will retain her title as the fastest visually impaired female Paralympian in the world when she goes for triple gold in the 100, 200 & 400 meters sprints.

See her first: 100m – T12, round one; 8 Sept

Tatyana McFadden

Tatyana McFadden

Like Storey, Tatyana McFadden is another Paralympic veteran. McFadden is originally from Russia, but was adopted from an orphanage after she had been abandoned for having Spina Bifida. She grew up in Baltimore, and now heads up the USA Team. This eleven-time Paralympic medallist is aiming to become the first athlete to win gold in an unprecedented seven wheelchair events, in distances ranging from the 100m to the marathon.

See her first: 100m – T54, heats; 8 Sept

Zahra Nemati

Zahra Nemati

Iranian Zahra Nemati had a black belt in Taekwondo, before she acquired a spinal cord injury in 2003. Only two years later, she took up Archery and the rest is history. The first Iranian woman to win a gold medal at either an Olympic or Paralympic Games, inspirational Nemati has just completed in the able bodied team at the Olympics and will be back in Rio to defend her gold medal in the individual W1 class in the Archery.

See her first: Women’s Individual Recurve Open; 10 Sept

Natalia Partyka

Natalia Partyka

Another elite athlete selected for both the Olympic and Paralympic teams, is Polish table tennis legend Natalia Partyka. Born without her forearm, the 27-year-old is renowned for her unique and almost unstoppable serve and in para table tennis she hasn't lost a match since 2008. Can anyone defeat Partyka in her quest for a second Paralympic gold in the women’s singles class 10?

See her first: Women’s Singles Class 10, group phase, 8 – 10 Sept

Subscribe modal