Hannah Russell broke through in the S12 visually impaired classification in 2011, winning MC 100m Backstroke bronze on her British Gas Swimming Championships debut in Manchester.
A few months later, she reached her first international podium with 100m Backstroke silver and 100m Butterfly bronze at the IPC European Championships in Berlin.
She made further improvement in 2012, winning her first British title in the MC 100m Backstroke, setting her first world records with short course efforts over 100m Back and 400m Free, then confirming her qualification to London 2012 in five events.
Russell shone at her first Paralympic Games, kicking her campaign off with 400m Freestyle silver then adding bronzes over 100m Backstroke and 100m Butterfly.
In 2013, Russell landed her first international gold, topping the podium in the 100m Backstroke on her IPC World Championship debut in Montreal. She also scooped three silvers (50m Free, 100m Free, 100m Fly) and a bronze (400m Free) in Canada.
She returned to the European stage in 2014, winning 100m Backstroke gold as well as five individual silver medals in Eindhoven.