Anna Grimaldi MNZM #195
|Date of Birth||12 February 1997|
|Eligible impairment||Limb deficiency|
|Health condition||Dysmelia (right hand)|
Anna has always loved playing and competing in sport from a very young age, playing netball and basketball. Para athletics, however, is the sport that has provided Anna with opportunities that otherwise would not have been available to her.
Anna came to the sport of Para athletics later in life. Attending a Paralympics New Zealand Talent Identification camp in Dunedin in late 2013 and has never looked back. From that moment on her life changed completely – for the better.
From first beginning Para athletics to attending her first IPC Athletics World Championships felt like a whirlwind to Anna. Only two years after coming into the sport she was standing on the podium with a bronze medal.
Competing at the Paralympics
Her Paralympic dream became a reality when she won New Zealand’s first medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games – and it was gold! Anna won the hearts of Kiwis when on her final jump she won gold with a personal best in the Women’s Long Jump T47.
Anna’s gold medal jump contributed to the New Zealand Paralympic Team’s stunning 21 medals across 12 individual medallists in 2016 (9 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze). The Team finished first in the world per capita and 13th in the world overall (previous best: 16th).
Her success in Rio motivated Anna to commit to being a full-time athlete. After overcoming a foot stress fracture, Anna won silver in the Women’s Long Jump T47 at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships. During the 2021 summer season, Anna was in flying form, achieving four PBs and an improvement of 29cm in the Women’s Long Jump T47, taking her within 10cm of the world record in her classification.
At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Anna became a double Paralympic champion, winning gold in the Women’s Long Jump T47. She led from the very first jump, setting a Paralympic Record of 5.74m, before bettering this jump to 5.76m on her fourth attempt.
The 2023 World Para Athletics Championships in Paris was memorable for Anna. She described the season as ‘risk-taking’ with a new coach (Mike Jacobs) and coming to Europe early to train and compete. It paid off. Anna earned her first ever global track medal with a shock bronze in the T47 100m in a time of 12.32, leading her to exclaim “I’m not a 100m runner I’m a long jumper, but I guess now I’m sort of a 100m runner!” She had set an Oceania record of 12.31 in the heat. In her signature long jump event, she smashed her national record to secure the silver, setting a New Zealand record of 5.96m (-1.0).
Anna has loved every second of her sporting career so far, has made amazing friends, met incredible people and has pushed herself harder than she ever thought she could. She became an inaugural Member of the PNZ Athletes’ Council, providing a valuable athlete voice to decision-making. Anna studied both Quantity Surveying and Construction Management at Otago and Open Polytechnic respectively.
Anna officially received her ‘numbered’ Paralympic pin as part of The Celebration Project in Dunedin in February 2021.
|2020||Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games||Gold - Women's Long Jump T47|
|2016||Rio 2016 Paralympic Games||Gold - Women's Long Jump T47
4th - Women's 100m T47
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