A transgender runner finished third in the World Para Athletics 400m race in Paris on Thursday.
The bronze finalist was Valentina Petrillo’s ninth medal in women’s events.
Petrillo finished the race in 58.24, seconds behind Cuba’s Omara Durand (52.82) and Venezuela’s Alejandra Pérez López (57.88).
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
Petrillo, 49, was racing in a category for the visually impaired after being diagnosed with Stargardt disease at age 14, which caused him to lose his sight.
The disease stopped the Italian’s sporting ambitions until he was 41, when Petrillo, as a man, returned to sport and would go on to win 11 national titles in men’s categories.
In an interview with the BBC published in 2021, Petrillo first spoke to his family about transitioning in 2017, eventually undergoing hormone therapy in 2019.
«I respect and comply with the IOC and World Athletics rules, I do the tests,» Petrillo told the outlet at the time. «I don’t feel like I’m stealing anything from anyone.»
Petrillo became the first transgender athlete at the international Women’s Paralympic Championships in 2021 and currently holds the Italian records for the 200-meter T12 (27.17) and 400-meter indoor T13 (59.77), both for visually impaired athletes.
TRANSGENDER CYCLIST WINS WOMEN’S RACE TO PROVE POINT, DESTROYS OTHER TRANS ATHLETES AS ‘SELFISH’
OutKick scored that Petrillo’s time in the race would have been good for 14th in the men’s division.
The BBC reported that Petrillo lost around 11 seconds in the 400m and 2.5 seconds in the 200m after the start of the transition.
«It’s better to be a slow, happy woman than a fast, unhappy man,» Petrillo said.
At the time of reporting, 30 athletes signed a petition saying that Petrillo should not compete for titles against biological women.
“If she wants to run with us, we’ll be happy if she does. We will always welcome her, but we don’t want her to compete with us for titles”, Fausta Quilleri, lawyer from Brescia and broker. in the «Master» category of over 35 years, she said at the time of her.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The World Para Athletics Championships allow transgender women to compete in the women’s categories. However, World Athletics has banned transgender women from participating in women’s sports at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris to «protect the female category.»