2016 Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro - 8/18 September 2016
Liam Malone powered his way to victory to win gold in the T43/44 200m. Malone ran a very strong bend to lead into the home straight and held off a determined challenge by Hunter Woodhall (USA). Malone ran a personal best 21.06 which is also a Paralympic record, erasing the previous record of Oscar Pistorius set at the London 2012 Paralympics. Woodhalls time was 21.12 while Germanys David Behre came in third in 21.41. Malone, from Nelson, went into the race as favourite, after his silver in the 100m and posting the fastest time in the 200m heats.
Malone was grateful for all the support he has received since setting out on the journey to make Rio.
"Im just filled with a lot of gratitude towards the New Zealand people who have backed me from day one. I had the vision that I could make here and that I could win," said Malone.
For the 22 year old student from Nelson it was just another race.
"I felt dead going into the race and in the call room I felt a bit flat and I cant really remember much and I just try to run fast like always. I dont know what sort of energy people bring into these things I just try and put one leg in front of the other real quick and it turned out good.
"The hard stuff is done in training and thats the painful time and you just feel like youre dying a lot especially in winter, so the racing the easy and bottom part," he added.
Running and studying has been his life of recent times and the sudden stardom has not fazed him.
"Im just the goofy dude from Nelson who just runs in circles and reads books theres nothing really special to me at all. I saw someone say I was talented, Im certainly not talented, I train twice a day every day since I decided to come here, so I feel like Im skilled and not talented."
Holly Robinson, New Zealands flag bearer at the opening ceremony, threw a personal best, New Zealand and Oceania record of 41.22m on her fifth attempt to secure the silver medal in the F46 javelin throw.
Hollie Arnold of Great Britain won with a world record throw of 43.01m. Robinson (21) started well with 40.80m in the opening round to sit in second position behind Arnold. Katarzyna Piekart, the 2012 Paralympic champion from Poland was out to 41.07m in round two to push Robinson back to third, but in the fifth round, in 35 degrees temperature, Robinson hurled the javelin out to 41.22m to claim back second. Robinsons 41.22m was further than the previous world and Paralympic Games record of 41.15m held by Piekart, but Arnolds second (41.68) and sixth round (43.01) efforts created the new world record.
Robinson said it was an outstanding day.
"I cant believe it, its an awesome day, I loved it out there the crowd in Brazil is so cool and Im so happy, I came away with a PB thats what I went out to do and I got it and I got a silver medal and I cant ask for anything else.
"I warmed up really well and my throws were really good, I started off with probably one of the best throws of a competition Ive had, my series was great and I knew it was coming it was there and I popped it out and Im super happy, I loved it out there," said Robinson.
She was not disappointed in being beaten by Arnold.
"Hollie had an amazing day she threw so well and coming second to a person who breaks the world record twice its awesome and its awesome for our event in that were advancing in distances as well.
"Its been four years since London and Ive worked my butt off to get here and its such a cool moment to stand up there and get the medal presented to me."
Her coach Raylene Bates was delighted with the outcome.
"Outstanding performance in very tough competition. There was just centimetres in it. Our aim was to break the world record, we broke the old world record Hollie Arnold went and broke it again with an outstanding performance, but anyone of the top five could have won that today," said Bates.
Dunedins Jessica Hamill won the bronze medal in the womens F34 shot put. The 26 year old had a best throw of 7.54m. The event was won by Lijuan Zou from China with a world record 8.75m with the Pole Lucyna Kornobys second with 8.00m. After the first round of throwing in which the athletes all had three attempts, Hamill was in the bronze medal position with her opening throw of 7.54m. The New Zealand record holder was not able to improve on this distance and none of the positions changed after the second round of the competition with a further three attempts for each athlete, although Moroccos Saida Amoudi improved to 7.52m, only 2cm behind Hamill.
Hamill said that she tried her very best.
"Im very happy to take away a bronze medal, it was very hard out there especially after my no throw, I was shaken off by that but I came back again, it didnt beat the winner but Im taking home a medal."
Hamill, the most experienced of the Para-Athletes in Rio, first competed internationally as a 15 year old at the IPC Athletics World Championships in 2006. Coached by Athletics New Zealand High Performance Para-Athlete Manager Raylene Bates, Hamill won silver at both the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and the IPC World Championships in Doha in 2015 and went into the Rio Paralympics as the third ranked in the field.
Liam Malone won his second gold medal, this time in the 400m. He went out hard in the early stages of the race but was caught by 200m silver medallist Hunter Woodhall close to the half way point. The American held a one metre lead into the home straight but Malone ran down Woodhall and saw off a determined challenge from fast finishing German David Behre to win in 46.20. Behre finished second in 46.23 while Woodhall came in third in 46.70. The first six athletes all ran personal best times and Malone took a staggering 2.08 seconds off his previous best set at the Porritt Classic meet in February. Malones time also set a new T43 400m Paralympic record, erasing the previous record of Oscar Pistorius set at the London 2012 Paralympics. Malone has now beaten all three of the South Africans T43 (double amputee) Paralympic records for 100m, 200m and 400m.
"As New Zealands new Cyborg Overlord Im feeling pretty happy right now," said Malone. "And Im just looking forward to go to the pub with my friends and toasting to a drink to the New Zealand people and to everyone thats supported me, its been a long road and a special shout out to high performance New Zealand, Paralympics New Zealand and Athletics New Zealand, theyve helped me get here a lot.
"I hate the 400m I was tiring up but I spent two years building the gas tank and the last eight months fitting the accelerator so I just put the gas down in that last 100 and it worked out alright. "I just dug in and dug deep and came away with the win," he added.
"Im not a serious guy but Im serious about dreaming big and believing in yourself and I one hundred percent believed that I could do it when I looked at the times coming into Rio I had my doubts as much as anyone but you just had to go into these things being as brave as possible."
William Stedman literally left it all out on the track as he punished himself in the T36 400m forcing his way to the bronze medal. The 16 year old ran a personal best and New Zealand record of 55.69 in holding out Polands Krzysztof Ciuksza by two tenths of a second. His was totally exhausted at the finish and lay on the track for some time. Paul Blake of Great Britain won in 54.49, from Roman Pavlyk of Ukraine 55.67.
"Its half sunk in, its a bit surreal actually," said Stedman.
"I went into the race thinking I could get a medal, but I knew that to get one I would have to run a massive PB and I ended up doing that so I am stoked," he added.
"Afterwards I ended up being quite sick. I couldnt walk for a while and I threw up but I felt heaps better after I threw up so that was good. I just put everything into the race."
He is the youngest member of the Para-Athletes team. He first entered the international scene last year competing at the IPC world championships. He has a form of Cerebral Palsy and was inspired to get involved in para-athletics after travelling through London on a family holiday around the time of the 2012 Paralympics.
The next day Stedman claimed a further bronze medal in the T36 800m with another PB and NZR of 2:11.98. James Turner of Australia won in a world record 2:02.39 with 400m winner Paul Blake second in 2:09.65.
Stedman said that he was amazed to come away from Games with two medals.
"I came here hoping Id make one medal but to get two is pretty amazing," he said.
While pleased with the bronze in the 800m he felt that he could have gone faster.
"I went the first lap a bit slow I was meant to do it in 62 to 63 and I did 65 and I got a little bit wide when I was in last place with 300 to go but I knew I had a good strong finish in me and I managed to implement that and get past three to get the bronze medal and Im really happy with my finish but I shouldve probably run a bit faster at the start."
He said that he has had great support in his build up for the Games.
"The coach George (Edwards) and my family have been a huge part of getting me to where I am, taking me training, George training me, I cant thank them enough really theyve been such amazing support," said Stedman.
The Kiwi Para-Athletics team finish the Games with nine medals - three gold for Liam Malone (2) and Anna Grimaldi, two silver for Holly Robinson and Malone and four bronze for Stedman (2), Rory McSweeney and Jessica Hamill. The total is the second best in Paralympic history for Para-Athletics, one behind the total in Sydney 2000 and level with Seoul 1988.
12 September: William Stedman T36 LJ 5.35m (-0.5) PB NZR PR (5). Jacob Phillips T35 200m 29.10 (+0.4) (8). Liam Malone T44 200m 21.06 PB NZR PR (+0.6) (1).
13 September: Holly Robinson F46 JT 41.22m PB NZR (2).
14 September: Jessica Hamill F34 SP 7.54m (3). Liam Malone T44 400m 48.34 (2h2) Q.
15 September: Liam Malone T44 400m 46.20 PB NZR PR (1). Anna Grimaldi T47 200m heats DQ.
16 September: William Stedman T36 400m 55.69 PB NZR (3).
17 September: William Stedman T36 800m 2:11.98 PB NZR (3).
Athletics Auckland Road Relay Championships, Mt Smart Stadium - 17 September 2016
Senior: Wesley A 1:45:07 1, Wesley B 2, Auckland City Athletics 3. Fastest 2.35km lap; William Harris (Wes) and Steven Langdon (Pak) 7:34.
Junior: ACA 1:45:22 1, Pakuranga 2, ACA B 3.
Masters: ACA 1:52:18 1.
BU15 7km: Pakuranga 24:47 1.
Senior: ACA 1:33:48 1. Fastest 2.35km lap; Olivia Burne 8:27.
Junior: ACA 1:16:48 1, Wesley 2, Pakuranga 3.
Masters: North Harbour Bays 1:20:30 1.
GU15 7km: Glen Eden 27:09 1.
Walkers 14km: Race Walking Auckland 1:27:24 1.
52nd Glen Eden 10 Mile Road Race - 18 September 2016
New Zealand cross country champion Jono Jackson made it seven years in a row in winning the annual 10 mile event in 56:03.
The former New Zealand mountain running champion was at home on the hills and on the tough slog up to the Scenic Drive. He then cruised on the steep descent back to Ceramco Park for victory. Matt Carroll was second in 57:48 and Nick Moore third in 60:37. Marisa Ruhter was the first woman in 67:36 heading in Anna Williams 1:12:12 and Jacqueline Eastman 1:17:24.
Queen Charlotte Relay, Picton to Havelock - 17 September 2016
Athletics Nelson team of William Wallace, Kalani Sheridan, Jared Lautenslager, Sam Mead and Max Meffan won in 2:00:02. Marlborough (Kevin Bishel, Ed Massey, Seb Bacchus, Peter Mann, Robbie Barnes) were the first master men in 2:24:07. Athletics Nelson won the senior women in 2:26:15 with their team of Hunter Sutherland, Beth Versey, Bridie Edwards, Charlotte Tucker and Eloise Beattie. Waimea were the first master womens team in 3:09:56.
Takahe to Akaroa Relay - 17 September 2016
Christchurch Avon team of Chris Dryden, Kevin Muir, Angus Bailey, Matthew Scott, Ieuan Van der Peet, Richard Seigne, Cameron Swales and Sean Eustace won in 4:37:41. Papanui Toc H were second in 4:40:31 and Sumner third in 4:51:44. University of Canterbury won the B grade in 5:06:37 and Christchurch Avon 2 the C grade in 5:54:09. North Canterbury team of Lucy Oliver, Annabelle White, Navajo Prentice, Kim Wilcock, Adrienne Smith, Rebecca McLean, Belinda Lancaster and Natasha Mitchell won the senior women in 5:58:35 beating Port Hills 6:34:19 and Canterbury Tri Club 7:06:57. Papanui Toc H team of Tom Moulai, Dion Houston, Mitchell Small, Goitem Gebremedihin, Sam Averill and Connor High easily won the junior men relay in 2:26:51. In a close race Port Hills won the junior women from University of Canterbury and Christchurch Avon. Master men Papanui Toc H 5:49:51, master men 50 Christchurch Avon 5:37:17, master men 60 New Brighton Olympic. Master women New Brighton Olympic 6:12:52.
Sydney Running Festival, Bradford Park Milsons Point - 18 September 2016
Cameron Blacklock was 25th in the marathon in 2:47:46. Ciaran Faherty finished eighth in the half marathon in 1:10:45 and Matthew Dryden was 19th in 1:15:57. Victoria Beck won the womens half marathon in 1:18:25.