James Turner first represented Australia in Para-football 7-a-side at the 2012 AFC Dream Asia Cerebral Palsy Tournament in Abu Dhabi, but turned his attention to athletics when the Para-roos did not qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games.
The following year James clocked his maiden qualifier for the Games with a time of 2:08.90 in the 800m at the 2016 Australian Athletics Championships, and when he hit the track in Rio, he stunned locals with his brave, world record-breaking performance, crossing for gold with a time of 2:02.40.
The Wollongong local is unsure about what he would do if faced with the prospect of choosing between football and athletics for Tokyo 2020. He will not be able to defend his Olympic crown in Tokyo as the event has not been listed for inclusion, however he has adapted well to the short distances and at the IPC World Championships in London, he will compete in the 200m, 400m and 800m. In a departure meet in June 2017, he dipped under the world record running 52.99.
When he isn’t training, James is studying a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wollongong. In January 2017, he received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in recognition of the gold medal he won at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.