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News posted on Tuesday 6th October, 2020

Para athlete Sunil Fernandez-Ritchie sets a New Zealand record

Sunil Fernandew Ritchie in running action

When Sunil Fernandez-Ritchie ran the New Zealand marathon championship in Rotorua in a time of 3:26.19 on Saturday the 26th of September he was setting a New Zealand Paralympic record. He also achieved his 6th Paralympic New Zealand record over distances from 800 metres and above.

Currently Sunil holds the T20 records(PDF, 289KB) for 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 10,000 m, the half marathon and now once confirmed the marathon.

Sunil with daughter Carmen and the Rotorua marathon 2020 finisher medal

In achieving his “full house” of records by completing the marathon Sunil completed a remarkable feat for someone with an intellectual disability along with the physical disability of cerebral palsy  (the intellectual disability is the category that he is classified under by Paralympics as a T20 runner). He is very grateful for the contribution of his coach Mike Reilly of Hamilton City Hawks running club to his latest achievement.

Over the past decade since first representing New Zealand at the Paralympic Track and Field World Championships in 2011, Sunil has run proudly for his school, his club, his province and his country.

He has set standards in the record book for the next generation of New Zealand T20 runners to strive for. Establishing the New Zealand Marathon T20 record is the icing on the cake of Sunil Fernandez-Ritchie’’s running career.

Story written by Garth Ritchie, Sunil’s Dad.

Read more about Para athlete Sunil Fernandez Ritchie on Athletics New Zealand website.

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