A transgender runner placed third in the World Para Athletics 400-meter race in Paris on Thursday.

This marked Valentina Petrillo’s ninth medal in women’s events.

Petrillo finished the race with a time of 58.24 seconds, coming behind Omara Durand of Cuba (52.82) and Alejandra Perez Lopez of Venezuela (57.88).

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Valentina Petrillo after race

Valentina Petrillo celebrates after the Women’s 400m T12 Final during day six of the Para Athletics World Championships Paris 2023 at Stade Charlety on July 13, 2023 in Paris. (Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Petrillo, 49, competed in the visually impaired category due to her diagnosis of Stargardt disease at age 14, which caused a loss of sight.

The disease halted Petrillo’s athletic aspirations until the age of 41, when she returned to sport as a transgender woman and went on to win 11 national titles in men’s categories.

In a 2021 interview with BBC, Petrillo opened up to her family about her transition in 2017 and underwent hormone therapy in 2019.

“I abide by the rules of the IOC and World Athletics and undergo the necessary testing,” Petrillo told BBC. “I don’t feel like I’m taking anything away from anyone.”

Petrillo became the first transgender athlete to participate in the international Paralympic Women’s Championship in 2021 and currently holds the Italian records for the visually impaired in the 200-meter T12 (27.17) and the indoor 400-meter T13 (59.77) events.