Paralympics: NZ tops per capita medal tally

By Paul Harper

Sophie Pascoe led the way for New Zealand with six medal. Photo / Getty Images
Sophie Pascoe led the way for New Zealand with six medal. Photo / Getty Images

The 17 medals won by Kiwis at the Paralympics places New Zealand at the top of the per capita table, Statistics New Zealand says.

With six gold, seven silver and four bronze medals, New Zealand claimed 3.89 medals per million of population.

Australia was second with 3.82 medals per million of population, followed by Ireland with 3.58.

China topped the table with whopping 231 medals altogether, 95 of them gold, however on a per capita basis place 55th with 0.17 medals per million of population.

New Zealand is also ranked third on the gold medals per team scoreboard, based on its 24 athletes, behind Fiji who won one gold with only one athlete, and China in second.

NZ Paralympics Chef de Mission Duane Kale was delighted with the result, as the team had hoped to improve one place from the third place in the medals per capita ranking of four years ago in Beijing.

"This is great news, we set a target of going one better than Beijing, but to get to first in one games cycle was very unexpected."

Kale said the sports that delivered all but one of New Zealand's seventeen medals having been targeted with greater investment over the past Paralympic cycle.

"Swimming and Cycling have delivered what we thought they were capable of. We identified them following Beijing and it's been pleasing to see that come to fruition."

Swimmers Sophie Pascoe and Mary Fisher led the way, with Pascoe bagging six medals and Fisher winning four, with cyclist Phillipa Gray and her pilot Laura Thompson winning three.

Paralympics New Zealand said the bulk of the NZ athletes and support crew will arrive back into Auckland International Airport tomorrow at 10.50am, on board Singapore Airlines flight SQ285 from Singapore.

Cameron Leslie, Danny McBride, Tim Dempsey, Daniel Sharp and Sue Reid will return to New Zealand at a later date, while Tim Prendergast will remain in London where he is based.

- nzherald.co.nz

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