Olivia Breen was proud of her Paralympics bow after finishing fifth in the T38 100m final.
Despite being the youngest athlete in the field – having turned 16 in July – the City of Portsmouth AC starlet was roared on by a partisan home crowd at the Olympic Stadium in London.
And Breen held her nerve to put in a solid display, clocking 14.42sec in a race won by Russia’s Margarita Goncharova – who finished in 13.45, missing the world record by just two one hundredths of a second.
Breen’s classy performance on the biggest stage for her sport was the culmination of a rapid rise for the sprinter.
The teenager – who is the youngest member of the ParalympicsGB squad – was only given her international classification in May.
But Breen’s huge progress and recent success led to her inclusion in the British squad for London 2012.
And the pace ace was delighted to justify her selection with her performance on Saturday night.
Breen said: ‘I really pushed myself and was hoping to get to the final and I did and I’m really happy with what I’ve achieved.
‘I got classified in May internationally and it’s just happened really quickly. I’d just like to thank everyone for all their support.’
On the huge cheers she received from the British fans, Breen added: ‘It was amazing.
‘When you put your hand up after being introduced, all the flags come up and it’s just like “wow”.
‘It’s been a phenomenal day.’
Breen, who has cerebral palsy, was made to work hard to achieve her goal of making the final at her maiden Paralympics.
In the first round earlier that day, she failed to hear a call for the false start of a fellow competitor and continued to run the entire 100m.
Luckily, race officials postponed the race. And after being allowed more than an hour to get her breath back, Breen finished third in her heat to qualify for the final.
She said: ‘I was really annoyed about it and was like “here we go”.
‘It took time to get recovered and I was really tired and hungry. But I came out there and did it.’
Breen’s efforts at the London Paralympics are far from over.
The promising talent will be part of GB women’s 4x100m relay team who compete in the final tomorrow night (9.32pm).
And she will be back in individual action from Thursday in the T38 200m.