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Marissa Papaconstantinou wins her first medal at the Paralympics

Papaconstantinou won bronze and set a T64 100m Canadian record in a personal best time of 13.07 seconds

Toronto’s Marissa Papaconstantinou won her first Paralympic medal in a photo finish in the women’s T64 100-metre dash on Friday.

Papaconstantinou earned bronze, setting a Canadian T64 record and a personal best time of 13.07 seconds. She finished behind gold medallist from the Netherlands Marlene van Gansewinkel (12.78s) and Germany’s Irmgard Bensusan (12.88s), who won the silver.

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Earlier this week, she set another personal best in the 200m final but was shy of the podium, finishing fifth. After she realized she won bronze, the 21-year-old sprinter burst into emotion, seeing her hard work pay off on the world’s biggest stage.

Papaconstantinou represented Canada at the 2016 Paralympics when she was 16. She qualified for the 200m final but was disqualified due to a lane violation.

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Papaconstantinou has fought through a variety of tough injuries and adversity in the lead-up to the Games. She suffered a tear in her hamstring at the World Para Athletics Championship in 2017 and tore a tendon in her knee a year later.