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Paralympian Profile

Danielle Aitchison #211

Coming from a physical family where sport plays an important role, Danielle participated in ballet, netball and hockey as a young athlete, along with competing at Te Aroha Athletics Club.

After leaving team sport in 2016 due to the challenges from her lack of hearing, Danielle was encouraged by her Mum to attend several disability camps in Auckland to re-engage her interest in sport.

Danielle’s love for sprinting, which had began on the track at Te Aroha, was cemented after she competed at the 2017 Halberg Games.

Two months later, Danielle competed at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships, where she wongold in the 200m and long jump, and silver in the 100m.

Joining the Hamilton City Hawks club in early 2018, Danielle connected with her current coach, Alan McDonald.

With no long jump in her classification at the Paralympic Games Danielle focused her energy on the 100m and 200m. Her focus paid off, with Danielle selected to represent New Zealand at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.

On international debut, Danielle flew through her Women’s 200m T36 heat securing the fastest qualifier for the final. In the final, it took a world record breaking performance to beat the 18 year old to the gold medal. With a silver under her belt, Danielle then lined up in the Women’s 100m T36, securing 4th in the final.

Attitude’s documentary on Danielle Aitchison. Check out Attitude’s other great content on AttitudeLive.com.

At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Danielle produced some phenomenal performances to claim a silver medal in the Women’s 200m T36 and bronze in the Women’s 100m T36. Her qualifying time of 14.35 in the Women’s 100m T36 Heats also earned her an Oceania Record.

In the 2023 World Championships, Danielle delivered ‘the race of her life’ in the T36 200m. She set a huge new Oceania record time of 28.50 (-2.7m/s), as well as claiming an emphatic victory in the race. Meanwhile in the T36 100m, Danielle won silver. She had equalled the World Championship record of 13.68 in the heats, and defending champion Yiteng Shi of China had to set a new World Championship record of 13.66 to beat Danielle in the final.

The 2024 domestic season saw Danielle set a new PB with every race, finally claiming the world record for the 100m T36 on Friday at the New Zealand Track & Field Championships. She blitzed to a time of 13.41 (0.8) carving 0.20 from the previous world record time that Yiteng Shi had set at the Tokyo Paralympics.  

Danielle was named a Harvey Norman Para Sport Champion in 2024.

Paralympic Results
Paralympic GamesResult
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
  • Silver – Women’s 200m T36

  • Bronze – Women’s 100m T36

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    Profile

    • Hometown: Patetonga

    • Born: 16 August 2001

    • Eligible Impairment: Ataxia

    • Health Condition: Cerebral palsy

    • Coach: Alan McDonald

    • Classification: T36

    • Games Year: Tokyo 2020

    • Medals Won: 1 Silver, 1 Bronze

    • Para Sport: Para athletics

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