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Alex Zanardi open to Paralympic return after third medal

Alex ZanardiAlex Zanardi has left the door open for a return to Paralympic action in Rio de Janiero in 2016 after rounding off London 2012 with a silver medal.

Zanardi added the silver in the Mixed H1-H4 team time trial for Italy at Brands Hatch along with Francesca Fenocchio and Vittorio Podesta yesterday.

This gives him a total of three medals along with his golds in the individual time trial and road race events.

All three of his successes came at Brands Hatch, a track where he never managed to finish higher than second during his racing career, which he achieved in Formula 3000 in 1991.

"Maybe there will also be time for Rio, but just to make sure I put it all on this," Zanardi is quoted as saying by the official Brands Hatch website.

"It is perfectly fine for me to go back to normal life, take my son to school, things like that. But if along the way there will be a chance to light some more firecrackers, I won't hold myself back.

"It would be a shame to miss opportunities."

Zanardi's final medal came in a nine-lap race on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, with each rider completing one lap at a time.

The 45-year-old double Champ Car champion was entrusted with the final lap, which he started in third place.

He caught and passed the French team on that lap, eventually finishing second, 43 seconds behind the winning United States entry and eight seconds ahead of bronze medallists Switzerland.

"Once again I am speechless," he said after the event. "When you achieve something on your own it is great but winning as a team is even better.

"Every one of us took every ounce of power from our muscles. Obviously we raced in different ways, because we are athletes in different categories mixed in a random way, but I think this is the spice of the event. For us it is spectacular."

Zanardi has hinted at a possible return to car racing in the Indianapolis 500 having not competed since his final season in the World Touring Car Championship in 2009.

His success has triggered widespread praise in the motorsport community, including from his former Champ Car team boss Chip Ganassi.

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