News & Updates

16 July 2023 • Para Athletics

Grimaldi smashes national record to take proud long jump silver

Anna Grimaldi was immensely proud to produce the best long jump series of her career to take silver. Credit: Peter Milsom

Paralympic champion Anna Grimaldi capped a memorable Paris 2023 Para Athletics World Championships by smashing her national record to secure women’s long jump T47 silver to add to the bronze she won in the women’s 100m T47.

In an epic head-to-head showdown, it took a jaw-dropping world record by Kiara Rodriguez of Ecuador of 6.23m to deny the 26-year-old Kiwi, who produced an outstanding series topped by a massive 5.96m.

In an event billed as a battle between Grimaldi and Rodriguez, the 2019 world champion, the pair did not disappoint as they served up a captivating competition inside the Stade Charlety.

In round one the South American, who also won women’s 100m T47 gold here in Paris, took an early advantage soaring out to 5.80m (-0.1) to hold a narrow 5cm advantage from Grimaldi at the end of a high-quality round one.

The Kiwi then produced the perfect response in round two when she launched out to a monster 5.91m (+0.1) to equal her national record and within just 1cm of the championship record. Rodriguez failed to improve, posting 5.67m (+0.9).

However, if the first two rounds were hugely impressive round three was seismic as Rodriguez produced a “Beamonesque” improvement on the world record with a mighty 6.23m (+1.3) adding 22cm to the ten-year-old mark of Australian Carlee Beattie. In a nice moment, Grimaldi was the first person to congratulate the Ecuadorian. In response the Dunedin-based athlete received a red flag with her third attempt.

The high quality of the competition was maintained in round four. Grimaldi continued to manufacture the most impressive series of her career by leaping out to 5.90m (+1.6) while Rodriguez responded with a 5.96m (+0.7).

In the penultimate round Grimaldi unleased her best of the day with a stunning New Zealand record of 5.96m (-1.0) while Rodriguez committed a no jump.

A foul was registered in the final round by Grimaldi and with the gold in her pocket Rodriguez opted to pass with her final attempt.

Taleah Williams of the USA grabbed bronze courtesy of a PB of 5.65m (+0.8).

A jubilant Grimaldi said: “It has to be one of my favourite competitions I’ve ever been in. I’ve never felt like that jumping before ever. I feel overwhelmed to produce a series like that, which is something you dream of at a major. I’m excited for the future of the event.”

“I knew she (Rodriguez) was capable of jumping really big and she is fast as we know that from the 100m. But knowing I was in the best shape of my life and to jump the best that I could regardless of the world record – I am so proud.

“The day started off very rocky. I lost my prosthetic but (Athletics NZ) Operations Manager Bri (Maynard) came to the rescue by finding that I’d left it in the gym, where I’d been the previous day. I was gearing up to run without it when Bri arrived 30 minutes before final call with the prosthetic.

“The last six months have been so hard – in terms of the risks we have taken to come here. It makes me incredibly proud and so excited to come back with some more tools in my toolbox and give it another crack.”

The silver medal bagged by Grimaldi takes the overall New Zealand tally to eight for Paris 2023 – a best performance by New Zealand at a Para Athletics World Championships for 17 years.

The one remaining Kiwi set to compete at the Paris 2023 Para Athletics World Championships is Mitch Joynt, who takes to the track for the men’s 200m T64 final on Tuesday at 4.16am.

***Follow all the action on TVNZ+. Note, the coverage will be taken from the world feed so we cannot guarantee that all events featuring Kiwi athletes will be shown.

***For results go here

New Zealand medallists so far at the Paris 2023 Para Athletics World Championships 


Lisa Adams – Women’s shot F37

Danielle Aitchison – Women’s 200m T36


Will Stedman – Men’s 400m T36

Will Stedman – Men’s long jump T36

Danielle Aitchison – Women’s 100m T36

Anna Grimaldi – Women’s long jump T47

Holly Robinson – Women’s shot F46


Anna Grimaldi – Women’s 100m T47