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News posted on Saturday 17th September, 2016

Day 9: While you were sleeping……

Bronze for William Stedman

At the start of Day 9, the New Zealand Paralympic Team pulled ahead of its overall target of 18 medals by 1, after 16-year-old Paralympic debutant William Stedman stormed to a BRONZE in the Men’s 400m T36, in a time of 55.69, a hairs breath behind silver medallist in Roman Pavlyk (Ukraine). The gold was won by Paul Blake (Great Britain) in a time of 54.49. Notably, the race was so close that the fourth placed Krzysztof Ciuksza (Poland) was only two tenths of second behind Stedman.

Across at the pool, the Para-Swimmers were out in force again. Jesse Reynolds made his second Paralympic Final in a row, finishing his heat for the Men’s 100m Backstroke S9 in a time of 1:06.34 and qualifying in 7th place for the Final at 08.43am NZT. Meanwhile, Paralympic debutant 15-year-old Tupou Neiufi qualified for her FIRST EVER Paralympic Final, finishing 8th fastest in her heat in a time of 1:15.68 to qualify for the Women’s 100m Backstroke S9 Final at 08.50am NZT. Rio 2016 Gold medallist, Mary Fisher, qualified 5th fastest for the Women’s 200m Individual Medley SM11 Final in a time of 3:00.69, taking place at 10.00am NZT. Rio 2016 Gold medallist Cameron Leslie finished qualified 7th fastest in a time of 41.30 for the Men’s 50m Backstroke S5, at 10.51am NZT. Rio 2016 Bronze medallist Rebecca Dubber competed in the heat for the Women’s 100m Freestyle S7, finishing 9th in a time of 1:18.85, missing qualification for the Final by just under three tenths of a second.

Down at Pontal road cycling course, Paralympic debutant Fraser Sharp finished the Men’s Road Race C3 just outside the Top 10, 2m:37s off the gold medal time of 1:49.11. This is an exceptional result from the Tauranga local, who was only called up to the New Zealand Paralympic Team just over two weeks ago with Para-Canoeist Scott Martlew, after New Zealand was reallocated two more male slots for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games following the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Team. Earlier this week. Sharp finished in 8th place in the Men’s Time Trial C3 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, in a time of 42:20.07. After a near-death accident in 1993 left him with a neurological impairment, Fraser Sharp now has an incredible story. Two days ago he said: “I only had my call to the Paralympic Games 2 ½ weeks ago and it has just been a big blur. The whole journey has been pretty emotional, and I would not have been able to do this would the support of my family, friends, Paralympics New Zealand and the Tauranga community. I have been head down focussed on trying to represent my country and do the best I could do.“

Kiwis in action later today include:





Jesse Reynolds



Men’s 100m Backstroke S9

Tupou Neiufi



Women’s 100m Backstroke S9

Mary Fisher



Women’s 200m IM SM11

Cameron Leslie



Men’s 50m Backstroke S5

Stephen Hills



Men’s Road Race T1-2

Chris Sharp/Andrew May/Richard Dodson


04:30 (Race 9, 10)


Where can kiwis watch our Paralympians in action?

Views can catch the New Zealand Paralympic Team in action at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games by tuning into DUKE on Freeview 13, Sky 23 or online at (find daily schedule here:, by watching the daily highlights programme on TV1 at 9.30pm, or by visiting to watch on demand. Results will also be shown on ONE News, Breakfast and Seven Sharp. Additionally, coverage can be found by visiting the Paralympics website:

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