New Zealand Paralympic Games Team matches London 2012 medal tally and announces 200th Paralympian
New Zealand wins 1 BRONZE on Day 7, taking medal tally to 17 overall, including 8 gold
New Zealand results to date:
· 9th in the world overall on medal table
· 8 gold medals, behind Australia by 2
· 1st in the world per capita for medals
3 – Sophie Pascoe
1 – Nikita Howarth
1 – Liam Malone
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:
- BRONZE – Jessica Hamill, Women’s Shot Put – F34 Final
- 2nd in the heat and into the Final – Liam Malone, Men’s 400m T44
- 4th in the semi-final and into his first Final – Scott Martlew, Men’s 200m KL3
- 3rd overall on Day 2 of 5 – Andrew May, Rick Dodson & Chris Sharp, 3-Person Keelboat (Sonar)
- New Zealand matches the 17 medals it won at the London 2012 Paralympic Games
- New Zealand’s 200th Paralympian revealed – Rio 2016 Bronze medallist, Rory McSweeney
The New Zealand Paralympic Team hit 17 medals in total today, matching the number of medals won in total at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. However, with 8 gold medals already in the bag and 3 days left of competition, this Games has already well surpassed the 6 gold medals secured 4 years ago. New Zealand continues to determinedly chase its target of 18 medals, including 12 gold medals.
Today marked a significant milestone for the 20 Para-Athletes debuting at their first Games. All 20 of them have now taken part in competition, officially transitioning from “Para-Athlete“ to “Paralympian“.
Paralympics New Zealand is delighted to announce that following the official numbering process, New Zealand’s 200th Paralympian has been revealed as Rory McSweeney. McSweeney won a bronze medal in the Men’s Javelin F44 last Saturday after an exceptional personal best throw 54.99m on his fourth attempt, holding this position – and his nerve – for the remainder of the competition. The gold medal was won by Akeem Stewart (Trinidad and Tobago) with a new world record throw of 57.32m. McSweeney is a 31-year-old Prosthetic Technician from Wellington. He made his international debut in Christchurch at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships. He finished 8th with a personal best throw of 42.71m. Fast forward to the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships and McSweeney won a silver with a huge 55.80m throw. His ultimate goal is to break the 60m mark and make history.
Two-time Paralympian Jessica Hamill today won BRONZE in the Women’s Shot Put F34 at the Olympic Stadium today, with a throw of 7.54m. Lijuan Zou (China) winning the gold with a new world record throw of 8.75m. Hamill brought her experience from the Beijing 2008 Paralympics to the stadium tonight, making her mark on the competition early. She threw her best distance, 7.54m, on the first throw. This put her into medal contention and she stayed there for the duration of the competition.
Hamill said: “It was a really top quality competition. I was happy with my first throw that ended up being my best. I loved it out there and it was such a thrill but it was very hard. I think my experience of being to the Paralympic Games in Beijing was so useful and it meant I wasn’t nervous, just excited. I knew what to expect and the process I needed to follow. At the end of the day I won a bronze though and I am really happy.“
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games 200m gold and 100m silver medallist, kiwi blade runner Liam Malone, was back in action today, running in the heats of the Men’s 400m T44. Malone cruised to second in his heat, easily qualifying second in between David Behre (Germany) and Hunter Woodall (USA), the two men considered his main rivals for tomorrow’s Final. Malone has definitely caught the attention of the world this week and all eyes will be upon his performance in his favoured 400m distance event. Liam Malone will take to the 400m track in Rio de Janeiro at 02.38am NZT on Friday 16 September.
A big highlight of Day 7 was the success of Scott Martlew at Lagoa, making the final of the Men’s KL3 Para-Canoe event, after being called up to the New Zealand Paralympic team only two weeks ago following the Russian suspension. Martlew placed 4th in his heat sending him to the semi-final. Only one hour later Martlew was on the water again. The strong head wind did not seem to faze him as he crossed the finish line in 4th place going all the way to his first ever Paralympic final. His time of 44:28.4 was 1.4 seconds behind the winner. His Final is at 01.10am NZT on Friday 16 September.
Martlew said: “I was taking the race (heat) as it came and getting a feel for it, warming up for the semi-final. I knew this was the big race to get me into the final. It was a really hard race but I got there in the end. I can’t actually believe I am here myself. A couple of weeks ago I was sitting at my desk at work not even selected for the Paralympic Games and then I get the call. Two weeks later here I am today qualified for the final.“
Yesterday’s gold medallist in the Women’s 200m Individual Medley SM7 Final, Nikita Howarth, could not replicate her form tonight in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke SB8 Final, finishing 7th overall and matching her 7th place in the heats. Howarth, just 17, has done extraordinarily well at the Games so far, also picking up a bronze two days ago in the Women’s 50m Butterfly S7. At just 13 years old, Howarth became New Zealand’s youngest ever Paralympian at the London 2012 Paralympic Games
After a 6-day break, New Zealand’s first medallist of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games was back in the pool this evening, competing in the Women’s 400m Freestyle S7 Final. She finished tonight’s event in a time of 5:31.53, 8 seconds adrift of bronze medallist Susannah Rodgers (Great Britain). The event was won by McKenzie Coan (USA) in a time of 5:05.77. Last Friday morning, Dubber laid claim to an exceptional bronze in the Women’s 100m Backstroke S7 Final. Dubber made a slow start and was sixth into the turn and then powered up the field from the 25metre mark to touch the wall in third spot.
Dubber said: “I felt great going into the race, I had a good warm up and rearing to go but for whatever reason it just did not come together for me. I feel a bit let down with this swim but overall it has been an awesome Paralympic Games for me. You have got to be happy with a bronze medal. I just need to take this swim in my stride and learn from it.“
Emma Foy & Laura Thompson
New Zealand’s leading tandem pair took to the road for the first time today in the Women’s Time Trial B, finishing the 15km course in 4th in a time of 39:45.87, nearly 12 seconds behind the bronze medal pair of Lora Turnham & Corrine Hall (Great Britain). Foy & Thompson had been in the bronze medal position at the half way point, but lost a place in the very hot and humid conditions. The event was won by Katie George Dunlevy & Evelyn McCrystal (Ireland) in a time of 38:59.22. Foy & Thompson, who showed true guts and determination earlier this week to win SILVER in the Women’s B 3000m Individual Pursuit on the final day of racing at the Rio Velodrome, were disappointed with their result.
Thompson said: “We put it all out there and do your best and that is all we could do. We both rode every part of the race as hard as we could. We definitely rode well today it was just the other bikes were faster than us.“
Foy said: “Our communication worked really well out there and Laura gives me cues so I know where we are on the road, when to turn, that type of thing. It was a quick flat course and we were probably sitting on about 45 km/hr most of the way. There was a lot of support out there, we could hear the New Zealand supporters out there on the course, especially Laura’s Mum!
Amanda Cameron & Hannah van Kampen
New Zealand’s newest tandem pairing of Amanda Cameron and Hannah van Kampen finished the Women’s Time Trial B in 9th place, a very strong result in a very experienced and competitive international field. The rookie pair had an exceptional ride earlier this week in the Velodrome, qualifying for the final and competing in a ride-off for bronze that saw them finish in 4th overall. The pair only competed together for the first time in early 2016, surprising themselves by qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with a 5th at the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships. Cameron, the 28-year-old stoker from Wellington, was inspired to get involved in Para-Cycling after watching Phillipa Gray win the trifecta with Laura Thompson at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Cameron said: “It is a dream come true to be here at the Paralympics and to come 4th in the velodrome two days ago has definitely been a highlight so far. I started to aim to go to the Paralympics about three years ago and it has been an up and down journey. But when I met Hannah and we started riding together it just seemed to come together. We have the road race on Saturday and we are really looking forward to it.“
Van Kampen said: “We are really happy with how that went. It was tough out there but we loved it. We have only been together for under a year and we feel like we are just at the beginning – it is a pretty cool place to be.“
Kate Horan was the first rider out for New Zealand this morning, competing in the Time Trial C4 (road cycling). Horan finished 8th in a time of 33:32.37.
After a near-death accident in 1993 left him with a neurological impairment, Fraser Sharp now has an incredible story. Today he finished in 8th place in the Men’s Time Trial C3 at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, in a time of 42:20.07. The gold medallist had finished in 38:21.79. Sharp was a late call up to the team, selected two weeks ago when an additional male slot was awarded to New Zealand based upon the withdrawal of the Russian team. Sharp had missed selection in May, but had continued to train fully making it possible to select him for the New Zealand Paralympic Team at very short notice.
Sharp said: “I gave it everything I had out there today and that is the best I can do. 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 without 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.“
Stephen Hills, the 35-year-old farm hand from New Plymouth, made history by becoming the first New Zealander to ever compete at a Paralympic Games on a trike. Hills only made the switch from two-wheeled bikes to the trike last year, making his international debut at three UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup events in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. He then capped this off with a 5th in the Men’s T2 Time Trial and a 6th in the Men’s T2 Road Race at the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships. Today, Hills finished the Men’s Time Trial T1-2 in 8thplace.
The final Kiwi Para-Shooter in action at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games was Greg Reid at Deodoro Stadium. Following Reid’s outstanding performance 3 days ago he had high hopes but unfortunately did not qualify for the final, shooting 596.1 in total to place 37th in the R3 Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1.
Andrew May, Rick Dodson and Chris Sharp
On day 3 of the scheduled 5-day regatta, the Sonars raced on the Naval course, which ‘Clouds’ has forecast a 15-17knt SSW. As there was only one race sailed yesterday, the race committee decided to try and fit in 3 races today to make up time; the New Zealand team started in 4th place overall.
Race Four: The New Zealand team were coming 4th up until mark 4, then slid back to 7th at mark 5 then clawed their way back to 4th to finish in 4th place, and 3rd overall.
Race Five: At the first mark in race 5 the New Zealand team were in 9th place, and slowly through the race managed to climb their way up to finish in 6th place and 5th overall. The Aussies are leading overall by 4 points, but then it was so close with only 6 points between 2nd place and 6th place.
Race Six: The New Zealand team held 4th place for most of the race however they snuck up to 3rd around mark 2 then back to 4th for the rest and finishing 4th and back on 3rd overall.
Good consistency from the boys has kept them in 3rd place overall.
Andrew Brown, Head Coach, said: “The boys were very consistent today and are having a lot of fun out there. From a coaching stand-point, Race 5 was my highlight as they were able to fight their way back up to 6th place from 9th, fighting hard and passing key boats. The race organisers have decided to put three races on tomorrow as well, so it’ll be another big day.“
WHAT’S ON TOMORROW
Late call-up, Para-Canoeist Scott Martlew makes his first appearance in a Paralympic Final tomorrow, in the 200m KL3. Liam Malone is back on track in the Men’s 400m T44 Final. Para-Sailing continues.
Para-Swimmers: Jesse Reynolds, Mary Fisher
Para-Canoeist: Scott Martlew
Para-Athletics: Liam Malone, Anna Grimaldi
Para-Sailors: Chris Sharp, Andrew May and Rick Dodson