Top 8 finishes in Tokyo today as our 18 debutants are now officially Paralympians
New Zealand has won TWELVE medals at the
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games:
GOLD to Tupou Neiufi (Para swimming)
GOLD to Lisa Adams (Para athletics)
GOLD to Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming)
GOLD to Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming)
GOLD to Anna Grimaldi (Para athletics)
GOLD to Holly Robinson (Para athletics)
SILVER to Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming)
SILVER to Danielle Aitchison (Para athletics)
SILVER to William Stedman (Para athletics)
BRONZE to Sophie Pascoe (Para swimming)
BRONZE to William Stedman (Para athletics)
BRONZE to Danielle Aitchison (Para athletics)
Highlights from Tokyo today – Day 11:
- Lisa Adams completes New Zealand’s final event and finishes 7th in the Women’s Discus F38
- Para canoeist Scott Martlew battles his way to the final of the Men’s Va’a Single 200m Heat VL3.
- 5-time Paralympian Michael Johnson competes in the new R9 Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH2 event.
- 18 debuting Para athletes have now competed in Tokyo and officially become NZ Paralympians. They have been assigned their official number, to be gifted to them at an event on return home.
Coming up in Tokyo tomorrow – Day 12:
- The Closing Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The New Zealand team will not march due to COVID-19 safety precautions. The Team will now head for home and 2-weeks MIQ.
The New Zealand Paralympic Team has finished up the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in spectacular fashion, with two GOLD medals in the past 24 hours capping off a very successful campaign in Japan. Anna Grimaldi retained her Rio 2016 Women’s Long Jump T47 title, and Holly Robinson fulfilled a dream, leapfrogging her competition on her last throw in the Women’s Javelin T64 to finally win a coveted GOLD.
The team has finished with 6 GOLD, 3 SILVER and 3 BRONZE medals, for a total of 12 medals. New Zealand has now won a total of 233 medals since its first appearance at the Tel Aviv 1968 Paralympic Games, 53 years ago. 19 of these Paralympic medals have been won through the exceptional performances of New Zealand’s most decorated Paralympian, Sophie Pascoe, over the past four Paralympics. A total of 18 Para athletes made their debut in Japan and are now officially New Zealand Paralympians.
Paralympics New Zealand has now assigned all new Paralympians their official number, to be gifted to them formally at an event upon return home. 227 Paralympians have represented New Zealand since Tel Aviv 1968.
Our newest Paralympians are:
Paralympian #210 – Lisa Adams (Para athletics)
Paralympian #211 – Danielle Aitchison (Para athletics)
Paralympian #212 – Hayden Barton-Cootes (Wheelchair rugby)
Paralympian #213 – Sarah Ellington (Para cycling)
Paralympian #214 – Cody Everson (Wheelchair rugby)
Paralympian #215 – Corbin Hart (Para canoe)
Paralympian #216 – Robert Hewitt (Wheelchair rugby)
Paralympian #217 – Barney Koneferenisi (Wheelchair rugby)
Paralympian #218 – Tainafi Lefono (Wheelchair rugby)
Paralympian #219 – Gareth Lynch (Wheelchair rugby)
Paralympian #220 – Eltje Malzbender (Para cycling)
Paralympian #221 – Rory Mead (Para cycling)
Paralympian #222 – Nicole Murray (Para cycling)
Paralympian #223 – Gavin Rolton (Wheelchair rugby)
Paralympian #224 – Anna Steven (Para athletics)
Paralympian #225 – Anna Taylor (Para cycling)
Paralympian #226 – Mike Todd (Wheelchair rugby)
Paralympian #227 – Ben Tuimaseve (Para athletics)
Lisa Adams was our final Paralympian to feature at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, competing in the Women’s Discus Throw F38 and placing 7th with a best throw of 29.6m. Gold went to Mi Na (CHN) with a World Record throw of 38.50. Silver went to Li Yingli (CHN) with 33.73. Bronze to Rosa Carolina Castro Castro (Mexico) with 33.73 (F38 Class).
Adams said: “I’m all good with how I went tonight. It was fun and I wanted to make top 8 and we did that finishing 7th. I wanted to throw over 30 metres but I did not do it tonight and that is the game we play. It was wet out there, a bit slippery but they had towels and you make do with what you have. We have trained in the rain for situations like this, you know it just is what it is. We do not train as much for discus as we do shot and discus is our fun event.
“It has not really sunk in about winning a gold medal and it probably will in the next two weeks with a bit of downtime and time to reflect in MIQ. I get little spurts here and there it’s like, we did that. But we came here to win and that is what we did. And I’m so proud of our Para athletics bubble, we are lit, we are mean. We have such a good bunch of people. Our leadership, our management crew, coaches – they are all amazing. Our bond is pretty tight and I’ve really really enjoyed hanging out with our track and field team it is a shame that we all had to depart at different times. We had 8 Paralympians in our group, our crew got 7 medals. Especially the girls we got 3 golds, a silver and a bronze.”
Adams already won a GOLD in the Women’s Shot Put F37 Final on Day 4, a spectacular performance from the Paralympic debutant. She entered the competition ranked 1st in the world and as current World Record holder. She came out and showed the field she meant business, with her first throw of 14.36m setting a new Paralympic record. Adams then went on to better the Paralympic record four times with each throw.
Adams, who has Cerebral Palsy, made her Paralympic debut under the eagle eye of coach and New Zealand sporting legend, sister Dame Valerie Adams. Relatively new to Para sport, Adams was talent spotted by legendary Para athletics coach Raylene Bates in 2018 and from her very first throw, was seen as a potential star in the making. Just 18 months after first picking up a shot put, Adams was selected in the New Zealand team for the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships. In the F37 shot put competition she broke her own world record three times and came away with the gold. Tokyo is her first Paralympics.
The last day of competition in Japan saw Scott Martlew (Paralympian #198) compete in the Para canoe Men’s Va’a Single 200m VL3 semi-finals and finals. Martlew had an outstanding performance in the semi-finals, giving it everything he had to cross the line in third place. The top 3 progressed to Final A. Martlew again threw himself into it with a great start, but this was an aggressive and very powerful field. He finished 8th overall in a time of 54.756, with the gold going to Curtis McGrath (Australia) in a time of 50.537, with Giovane Vieira de Paula (Brazil) in silver on 52.148 and Stuart Wood (Great Britain) in bronze on 52.760.
Martlew said: “Yeah, nah, I was really happy to make the final and then give it my best shot. To make it after yesterday, which was a bit disappointing, missing out on the medal and the podium. So yeah, I was pretty stoked with today. It (the last 50 metres) is always tough, the lactate is building up. You’ve just got to keep going, keep pushing!
“Like I said, I was a little bit disappointed yesterday, because I was hoping for a better placing. But I am pretty proud of the journey I’ve come on and the effort I have put in to get here. So yeah, pretty happy!”
Martlew competed in two events in Japan, finishing a very narrow 4th in the final of the Men’s Kayak Single 200m KL2 at the Sea Forest Waterway yesterday, after winning his heat in dominant fashion on Thursday.
Active in a range of paddle sports as a youngster, Scott Martlew took up kayaking at the age of 16 dreaming of one day making the Olympics. However, the following year he sustained a tear to his left quadriceps playing rugby. The tear became infected with a flesh-eating bacteria and his leg had to be amputated in order to save his life. In the wake of his life changing circumstances, Martlew readjusted his goals. He moved into Para canoe racing and made his Paralympic debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There competing in the KL3 200m he finished a highly respectable eighth place on debut. He was reclassified in 2018 as a KL2 (a classification for athletes with a more severe disability). At the 2018 World Championships, Martlew made a major impact; winning a KL2 200m silver to climb the podium for the first time on the global stage. In 2019, he concluded a highly successful year by winning KL2 200m World Championships bronze.
SHOOTING PARA SPORT
Michael Johnson (Paralympian #148) wrapped up his fifth Paralympic Games campaign today with the R9 Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH2. This is the first time Johnson as competed in this event as it has not been previously part of the competition schedule for his classification. He shot consistently, eventually clocking a 620.2 to finish 13th in a mixed field of 30. The top eight proceeded to the final. Today was Johnson’s third event in Tokyo, finishing 6th in the R4 – Mixed 10m Air Rifle Standing SH2 and missing out on the final for the R5 – Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH2 by the smallest of margins, just 0.2 points, finishing in 9th place in the qualifying round. The top 8 progressed.
Johnson said: “I felt pretty good, pretty excited getting to do that (compete in this event for the first time). I have been looking forward to this event since the beginning. I always knew it was going to be tough, there’s some pretty strong competition out there. Its one of those events that you need to spend a lot of time learning to read the wind and doing a lot of training.
“It just feels normal to me (being at my fifth Paralympic Games). It’s funny because I have been doing sport for such a long time, I haven’t really been taking too much notice of the fact this is my fifth Paralympic Games. I mean you know it. But you’re just doing what you would normally be doing.
“Next year is the World Championships in UAE in October, so I have just got to work out whether the scores I achieved here will apply through as qualifying for the World Champs, or do I need to go to a World Cup first, there’s likely one in France. It is also dependent on, whether we do go overseas, if I need to be in MIQ for two weeks. All those little challenges can be a little bit off-putting. So that’s the plan! Hopefully a World Cup next year and the World Championships, but it all depends on New Zealand’s border restrictions.”
Johnson has represented New Zealand at five consecutive Paralympic Games, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. He won the gold medal in the R4 – Mixed 10m AR Standing SH2 at Athens 2004 and bronze in the same event at the next two Paralympics (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). Injured in a motor accident aged 22, Johnson returned to university to study a Bachelor of Information Systems before, in his late 20s, he spotted a brochure promoting target shooting and decided to give the sport a go. Johnson is also a coach and loves supporting and developing upcoming kiwi Para athletes.
What’s on tomorrow – Day 12:
The Closing Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The New Zealand Paralympic Team won’t be present at the Tokyo 2020 Closing Ceremony because of our commitment to our Covid-19 protocols and operating procedures aimed at keeping our team as safe as possible.
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