Posted on Sunday 29th August, 2021

Highlights from Tokyo today – Day 5:

  • Debutant Danielle Aitchison wins a dominant silver in her first Paralympic Games campaign
  • NZ Paralympic Team otherwise enjoys a quiet day, before competition ramps up again tomorrow

Coming up tomorrow – Day 6:

  • SILVER medallist Sophie Pascoe (Paralympian #166) in the Women’s 100m Backstroke S9
  • Jesse Reynolds (Paralympian #205) is also back in the pool in the Men’s 100m Backstroke S9
  • 5x Paralympian, Michael Johnson (#148), will open his Shooting Para sport campaign
  • Paralympian William Stedman (#208) will compete in the Men’s Long Jump T36 Final

With four medals in four days, the New Zealand Paralympic Team seems to have really found its rhythm in Japan. Today’s outstanding SILVER from Paralympic debutant Danielle Aitchison in the Women’s 200m T36 confirmed the dominance of our female Paralympians in the competition so far, with GOLD also going to Tupou Neiufi and Lisa Adams, along with a SILVER from Sophie Pascoe on her very first day in the pool.

29 Paralympians make up the New Zealand Paralympic Team at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games, split nearly equally with 13 women and 16 men. The men will no doubt have plenty of time to catch-up over the remaining 6 days of competition!

Para athletics

Paralympic debutant Danielle Aitchison won a silver medal in the Women’s 200m T36 today, setting a blistering time of 29.88. She was just 1.5s behind Yiting Shi (China), who won in a world record time of 28.21, and over 1 second ahead of bronze medallist, Yanina Martinez (Argentina) on 30.96. Martinez was elevated to the bronze medal position after original winner, Nicole Nicoleitzik (Germany), was disqualified. Aitchison went into the event qualifying second fastest in the heats and ranked number 1 in the world.

Aitchison said: “The race was so incredible by the Chinese girl (Yiting Shi). I’m so happy for what she’s done and I’m happy for what I’ve done! I’m just so happy with how I ran and to know that I go the silver medal at the end of it – it’s so worth it. Because I love to run and sprinting and yeah – it feels so free! And to get a silver medal, that’s just the icing on the cake!“

After quitting team sport in 2016 due to the challenges from her hearing impairment, Aitchison was encouraged by her Mum to attend several disability camps to re-engage her interest in sport. Her love of sprinting was crystallized after she competed at the 2017 Halberg Disability Games. Her focus paid off, with selection to represent New Zealand at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai. On international debut, she flew through her 200m T36 heat securing the fastest qualifier for the final. In the final, it took a world record breaking performance to beat her to the gold medal. With a silver under her belt, she lined up in the 100m T36, securing 4th in the final.

Aitchison will be back on the track on Day 8 for the Women’s 100m T36 Heats and Finals (if qualifying).

What’s on tomorrow – Day 6:

Tomorrow, New Zealand Paralympian #148 Michael Johnson’s fifth Paralympic Games campaign gets underway with his R4 Mixed 10m Air Rifle Standing SH2 event at the Asaka Shooting Range.

The Para swimmers are back in the pool with Jesse Reynolds and Sophie Pascoe both competing in their respective Men’s and Women’s 100m Backstroke S9 events.

The day wraps up under the lights of the Olympic Stadium, with William Stedman competing in the Men’s Long Jump T36 Final, looking to better his 5th place from Rio 2016.

Para sportEventAthleteNZ Time *
ShootingR4 – Mixed 10m Air Rifle Standing SH2 QualificationMichael Johnson 4.15pm
ShootingR4 – Mixed 10m Air Rifle Standing SH2 Finals (if qualification from heats)Michael Johnson 6.45pm
SwimmingMen’s 100m Backstroke – S9 HeatsJesse Reynolds 12.07pm
SwimmingWomen’s 100m Backstroke – S9 HeatsSophie Pascoe 12.19pm
SwimmingMen’s 100m Backstroke – S9 Final (if qualification from heats)Jesse Reynolds 8.14pm
SwimmingWomen’s 100m Backstroke – S9 Final (if qualification from heats)Sophie Pascoe 8.21pm
AthleticsMen’s Long Jump – T36 Final  William Stedman 10.14pm

* Please note race times are subject to change by organisers, with limited advance notice.

Broadcast information:

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be broadcast in Aotearoa New Zealand. Viewers can catch the action as it happens, non-stop from midday, every day on TVNZ DUKE (Freeview 13, Sky 23 and live streamed, TVNZ OnDemand) together with extensive delayed and highlights coverage. Along with 1 NEWS coverage, a special highlights programme will air every morning at 9am on TVNZ 1 and will be available online via TVNZ OnDemand and AttitudeLive.com. TVNZ flagship programmes, including Breakfast and Seven Sharp, are expected to cover the Paralympics. 

Find out more: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/shows/paralympics/schedule