Anna Grimaldi (19) has won gold in the women’s T47 long jump final today (Friday), giving an early boost to New Zealand’s medal count at the Rio Paralympics.
Her win has also broken the 28 year drought on medal wins for women in a Paralympic field event. New Zealand last won a medal in a Paralympic field event for women in 1988.
Along with Anna’s win, swimmer Rebecca Dubber finished third in the women’s 100m backstroke S7 final, taking out bronze on the games' opening day.
In dramatic form, the Dunedin athlete came back from third position to jump a stunning 5.62m.
She finished just 3 centimetres ahead of Cuba’s Yundis Castillo, who won silver, and five centimetres ahead of Australia’s Carlee Beattie, who won bronze.
Anna’s gold-winning effort was her sixth and final attempt, and the determined Kiwi gave it everything she had. The huge jump seems to have even shocked Anna, who looked as though she could scarcely believe she’d made such a mammoth leap.
She is ranked third in the world, and last year took out bronze for previous best jump of 5.41m at the world championships in Doha.
Her coach, Brent Ward is thrilled by the young Kiwi’s win, Stuff reports.
“Anna had nothing to lose on her final attempt and it was a brilliant jump.
“Anna has been doing some really good training before she left. She’s a very good competitor and extremely determined.”
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