Liam Malone blazes home to win New Zealand’s 9th GOLD medal at the Rio 2018 Paralympic Games
New Zealand results to date:
9th in the world overall on medal table
1st in the world per capita for medals
- 3 – Sophie Pascoe
- 2 – Liam Malone
- 1 – Nikita Howarth
- 1 – Cameron Leslie
- 1 – Mary Fisher
- 1 – Anna Grimaldi
- 2 – Sophie Pascoe
- 1 – Holly Robinson
- 1 – Liam Malone
- 1 – Emma Foy & Laura Thompson
- 1 – Jessica Hamill
- 1 – Nikita Howarth
- 1 – Rory McSweeney
- 1 – Rebecca Dubber
Highlights from Rio today:
• GOLD and Paralympic Record – Liam Malone, Men’s 400m T44 Final
• The New Zealand Paralympic Team has hit its overall target of 18 medals in Rio
The New Zealand Paralympic Team hit its overall Rio 2016 Paralympic Games target of 18 medals today, with two days of competition still to come. With more than a dozen events still to take place, the Games are not over and the New Zealand Paralympic Team is continuing to chase its goal of 12 gold.
Liam Malone blazed through yet another golden run for New Zealand today, crossing the line for GOLD and setting a new Paralympic record of 46.20 in the Men’s 400m T44. Malone finished ahead of David Behre (Germany) in 46.23 and Hunter Woodhall (USA) in 46.70. This gold medal today takes Malone’s medal haul to an astounding total of 2 gold and 1 silver at his first ever Paralympic Games. In addition to today’s gold, Malone has also won gold in the Men’s 200m T44 and silver in the Men’s 100m T44. Yesterday, Malone cruised home to qualify second fastest between these two main rivals.
“I’m feeling great and just looking forward to going to celebrate with my friends and plan what is next. I flew the Brazilian flag today because it is like when you go to someone’s house you say thank you for having me, that is what that was – to say thank you to the Brazilian people for hosting the Paralympic Games. It’s been a long road, three years is a long time to train six days a week, two times a day and the rest of my time I am just studying. This was not a fun journey it was a tough journey. It took a whole lot of guts and heart to get here and I have such feelings of relief, but also gratitude to all those that have invested and believed in me.“
“I have had a such a great time at the Paralympics Games and I appreciate what the media do in terms of bringing attention to the sport and elevating people with disabilities above the stereotypes that exist in society.“
Long jump gold medallist Anna Grimaldi was on track today, competing in the heats of the Women’s 200m T47. Grimaldi ran a great heat, finishing in 3rd place, however did not qualify for the Final due to a lane infringement, which after video examination, was not challenged by Paralympics New Zealand.
On the first day of the Games, Grimaldi won gold in the Women’s Long Jump T47 after a stunning personal best on her final jump, putting in a huge 5.62m, 3cm ahead of Yunidis Castillo (Cuba) and Carlee Beattie (Australia). Grimaldi’s previous best was 5.41, so this was 21cm ahead of her best.
The day started with Scott Martlew making Paralympic history. He competed for the first time in the first ever Men’s KL3 Para-Canoe final at a Paralympic Games. Martlew finished 8th in a close field that saw only a 4 second difference between Martlew and gold medallist, Serhii Yemelianov (Ukraine). Yesterday, he finished 4th in heats and semi-finals. This is an outstanding achievement for Martlew, called up to the New Zealand Paralympic Team just two weeks ago following the Russian suspension.
Gold medallist Mary Fisher was back in the pool today, qualifying 5th in the Women’s 100m Freestyle S11. Fisher finished the Final in 4th place in a time of 1:09.47 after a very hard fought race. She was in 2nd place at the turn and powered away at the front of the pack, but was overtaken in the final few metres, finishing 8 tenths behind bronze. The Gold medal was won by Qing Xie in a time of 1:08.03.
On the second day of competition, Fisher smashed her competitors in the Women’s 100m Backstroke S11, winning New Zealand’s second GOLD medal of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Fisher took the win in a World Record time of 1:17.96 ahead of Liwen Cai (China) and Maja Reichard (Sweden).
Fisher said: “I just gave it everything I possibly could and to get just fourth is a little bit disappointing but I’m so happy with how I swam the race. I went out as hard as I could and just gave it everything I had in the tank possible. So I am off now to jump in the ice bath and prepare for tomorrow’s race!“
Jesse Reynolds had a great race this morning in the Men’s 100m Butterfly S9 to swim a personal best time of 1:04.50, placing fifth in his heat. Initially, he narrowly missed qualifying by placing 9th overall, with only top 8 going through to the final. However, after a late withdrawal by another competitor, he was called up to compete this evening. He finished in 8th in 1:04.31, setting yet another personal best.
Andrew May, Rick Dodson and Chris Sharp
The kiwis have dropped back from 3rd into 6th place at the end of day four of the Paralympic Sailing regatta, although competition remains extremely tight with only 3 points between 6th place and 3rd. Sailing was underway in a very shifty 10-14knt breeze today on the Sugarloaf course proved tricky for the New Zealand team. They finished 10th in race 7 which is now their drop and 8th in race 8. The Australians are still in first place with an 11-point lead, followed by USA, GBR, Canada and Norway.
WHAT’S ON TOMORROW
It’s a big day back in the pool again tomorrow, with gold medallists Cameron Leslie, Mary Fisher and bronze medallist Rebecca Dubber back. Road cycling, Para-Sailing and Para-Athletics also continue.
• Para-Swimmers: Cameron Leslie, Mary Fisher, Rebecca Dubber, Jesse Reynolds, Tupou Neiufi
• Para-Cyclists: Fraser Sharp, Stephen Hills
• Para-Sailors: Chris Sharp, Andrew May and Rick Dodson
• Para-Athletics: William Stedman