Ilana Dupont, during a race. Photo courtesy of the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

Moments after race finishes, Dupont already looking ahead to Saturday

Top eight finish merely sets the stage for more

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Paralympian Ilana Dupont has already moved on to preparing for her next race, after a top eight finish in athletics on Thursday night.

With the T53 100m race over after she posted a time of 17.82 seconds, the Saskatoon, SK native is competing in two more events at the Games, the T53 400m and 800m.

Dupont, who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, finished last in the T53 100m race in 17.82 seconds. She was determined to not make a huge deal of it.

“We’re going to look at the tape,” said a breathless Dupont, still clad in her track gear. “My coach and I will tweak some things, and get ready for the next race.”

That race, Saturday’s 400m, is only a few days away and Dupont could not be anticipating it more.

“It’s my favourite event,” Dupont says, laughing. “I treat the 100m more like a tune-up for that race, so I’m pretty excited to get going.”

The wheelchair racer last placed fourth at the 2015 Parapan Am Games in the T53 400m competition, with a time of 1:01.61 – her fastest such time over the last two meets dating back to 2013.

Her final event of the Games is the 800m a week Saturday; she placed 12th at the 2015 World Championships and placed third at the 2015 Parapan Am Games, but is still less excited about the prospect.

“It’s not my best race,” said the athlete, who gave a low chuckle. “I mostly only do it because it’s at the end of the Games.

“I don’t change the game plan all that much, but I’m going to compete regardless.”