Paralympic athlete eyes gold in 2023 World Championship
Ece Çelik – ISTANBUL
After bagging three gold and two bronze medals in world championships in a decade, paralympian athlete Zübeyde Süpürgeci now eyes winning a gold medal in the World Para Athletic Championships in Paris in July 2023.
“I also believe I will be getting a medal in the 2024 Olympics,” 29-year-old Süpürgeci said. Training five days a week, Süpürgeci has started sports in Istanbul’s Bağcılar district.
“My father was a driver in the Bağcılar Municipality. One day, he asked me to go to the gym of the municipality,” she said while describing how her career began. Working hard then, Süpürgeci became European champion in 2016, 2018 and 2020 tournaments and bagged bronze medals in the European championships in 2012 and 2014 in the T54 disability class events of 100m, 400m and 800m as well as T53/T54 class 4x400 m relay events.
Saying that everybody should support disabled people to do sports, Süpürgeci highlighted that “there is prejudice in the public against us.”
She expressed her anger against those who see her with pity eyes and wish her to “recover soon,” as she explained she is “not sick, just handicapped.” When asked which race she has never forgotten, she pointed out the 2018 tournament in Berlin.
“When it started, I started uplifting myself saying, ‘I can go faster,’ and finally, I became the first.