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News posted on Friday 13th May, 2016

Para-Swimmer Hamish McLean a late selection to represent New Zealand at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Para-Swimmer Hamish McLean a late selection to represent New Zealand at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Paralympics New Zealand is delighted to announce that 16 year old Hamish McLean has been selected to represent New Zealand in Para-Swimming at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in September. McLean is a late selection to the Para-Swimming team announced last week, which includes Paralympic gold medallists Sophie Pascoe, Mary Fisher and Cameron Leslie, plus London 2012 Paralympians Nikita Howarth and Rebecca Dubber and two Paralympic debutants, Bryall McPherson and Jesse Reynolds.

At the time of the Para-Swimming team announcement, New Zealand had qualified five female and two male slots for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, into which seven Para-Swimmers were selected following an in-depth nomination and selection process. Paralympics New Zealand has since been reallocated an additional male slot to enable Hamish McLean to be selected.

Fiona Allan, CEO, Paralympics New Zealand, said: “I am thrilled to confirm Hamish McLean’s selection to the Para-Swimming team to represent New Zealand at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Hamish has consistently demonstrated outstanding results, including meeting the Swimming New Zealand nomination and the Paralympics New Zealand selection criteria after setting a minimum qualifying time for Rio 2016, but we simply did not have a slot available for him until now.“

Hamish McLean, Para-Swimmer, said: “I am incredibly excited about my selection to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. I am overwhelmed by the support I have had from Paralympics New Zealand and all the people around me that have helped to make my dream of representing New Zealand a reality.“

Jon Shaw, Para-Swimming Head Coach, said: “I’m totally overwhelmed and to have secured a Rio 2016 slot for Hamish is beyond anything I could have imagined. He absolutely deserves it and to have him miss out on selection by just a hair last week was devastating, both for him and for the team working behind the scenes at Paralympics New Zealand and High Performance Sport New Zealand.“

New Zealand has won medals in Para-Swimming at every Summer Paralympic Games since it first began competing in 1968. McLean’s announcement takes the Rio 2016 Para-Swimming team up to eight in total, making it equal to London 2012 as the biggest team to ever represent New Zealand.

Between them, the Para-Swimming team holds a staggering nine Paralympic titles, 22 World titles and 10 long course World Records. Together, they are expected to play a major role in New Zealand’s campaign to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, which open on 7 September, 2.5 weeks after the Olympics. The New Zealand Team is aiming to win 18 medals, including 12 gold, across up to 7 Para-Sports and hopes to retain its London 2012 title of number one in the world, medals per capita.

Overall, McLean becomes the 18th Para-Athlete to be selected to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Team, following the announcement of three Para-Sailors in March, seven Para-Cyclists earlier this week and now eight Para-Swimmers. Paralympics New Zealand expects the team to be between 25-35 Para-Athletes in total, with selections for up to another four Para-Sports to follow within the next 10 weeks.

The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games will run from 7-18 September 2016. The Games are the world’s largest multi-sport event for disabled athletes; over 4,350 athletes from 178 countries are expected to compete in 22 sports, with 526 medal events taking place.

The full New Zealand Para-Swimming squad is:




Impairment (Disability)

Sophie Pascoe


S10, SB9, SM10

Single limb deficiency

Mary Fisher


S11, SB11, SM11

Visual impairment

Cameron Leslie


S5, SM4

Quadruple limb deficiency

Nikita Howarth


S7, SB8, SM7

Double limb deficiency

Rebecca Dubber


S7, SB6, SM7

Loss of muscle power (Paraplegia)

Bryall McPherson


S8, SB8, SM8

Single limb deficiency

Jesse Reynolds


S9, SB9, SM9

Single limb deficiency

Hamish McLean


S6, SB6, SM6

Short stature (Achondroplasia)

For more details please contact:

Melissa Dawson, Communications Manager

Paralympics New Zealand

Mobile – +64 (0) 204 0044 799

Landline – +64 (0) 9 526 0760

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