News & Updates

12 February 2021 • Track and Field

Martin named as one of most influential Maori sports people

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Peter Martin of New Zealand competes in the Men's Javelin Throw - F52/53 Final on day 6 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Olympic Stadium on September 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Peter Martin competed in four Paralympics and won four gold medals (Photo: Getty Images)

The impressive career of athletics Paralympian Peter Martin has been further recognised in being named as one of the most influential Maori sports people of the last 30 years. 

The four-time Paralympics gold medallist came in at number 17 as the countdown was revealed on the Maori Sports Awards ‘30 in 30’ show on Maori Television.

Martin was in esteemed company as the likes of double Olympics canoeing gold medallist Lisa Carrington (No 1), US Open golf champion Michael Campbell (2), Oceania footballer of the century Wynton Rufer (3), wood chopping world champion Jason Wynyard (4), Tall Blacks basketball legend Pero Cameron (5), All Blacks great Zinzan Brooke (6), Kiwis and Warriors rugby league hero Stacey Jones (7), three-time rugby World Cup-winning captain Farah Palmer (8), rugby league superstar Benji Marshall (9) and netball World Cup-winning coach Dame Noeline Taurua (10) made up the top placings.

Martin, who is of Te Arawa descent, competed with great success in seated throwing events in the F52 classification. He became quadriplegic after sustaining a spinal injury in a farm bike accident.

The Hamilton resident won shot put gold at three successive Paralympics – in 1996, 2000 and 2004 – and also won gold in the javelin in 2004. In addition to his memorable wins, he claimed silver in the javelin in 1996, and a pair of bronzes, in the pentathlon in 2000 and discus in 2004.

The 2004 event in Athens was his most successful with a haul of two golds and one bronze. He made a comeback in 2012 to compete at the London Paralympics, reaching the finals in both shot put and javelin.

Set to celebrate his 59th birthday this month, Martin gained three world-record performances over his four Paralympic Games and remains the current men’s javelin F52 and pentathlon P52/53 world record holder.

He has also been involved in a variety of other Para sports, including coaching the Wheel Blacks and participating in wheelchair tennis.

Martin was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Paralympic sport in the 2005 New Year Honours. Twelve years later, he was presented with a Paralympics NZ Order of Merit for his outstanding contribution to the disability sport sector.

The top 30 Maori Sports Awards most influential Maori sports people of the last 30 years is as follows:

Lisa Carrington (1) (canoeing)
Michael Campbell (2) (golf)
Wynton Rufer (3) (football)
Jason Wynyard (4) (wood chopping)
Pero Cameron (5) (basketball)
Zinzan Brooke (6) (rugby)
Stacey Jones (7) (rugby league)
Farah Palmer (8) (rugby)
Benji Marshall (9) (rugby league)
Dame Noeline Taurua (10) (netball)
Aaron Smith (11) (rugby)
Portia Woodman (12) (rugby)
Ruben Wiki (13) (rugby league)
Trent Boult (14) (cricket)
Eric Rush (15) (rugby)
Winston Reid (16) (football)
Peter Martin (17) (Paralympics athletics)
Leilani Rorani (Joyce) (18) (squash)
Suzie Bates (19) (basketball/cricket)
Honey Hireme-Smiler (20) (rugby league/rugby union)
Nathan Nukunuku (21) (softball)
Temepara Bailey (22) (netball)
Shane Bond (23) (cricket)
Sarah Hirini (24) (rugby)
Joelle King (25) (squash)
Raelene Castle (26) (sports administrator)
Kayla Whitelock (27) (hockey)
Cathy Millen (28) (powerlifting)
Cameron Leslie (29) (Paralympics swimming/wheelchair rugby)
Shannon McIlroy (30) (bowls)