News & Updates

25 August 2021 • High Performance

Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games preview

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 16: William Stedman of New Zealand celebrates winning the bronze medal in the Men's 400m - T36 final on day 9 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on September 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)

Rio 2016 double bronze medallist Will Stedman was New Zealand Paralympic Team’s flagbearer along with Sophie Pascoe for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games (Photo: Getty Images)

Anticipation is rising as the ten-day athletics programme at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games begins on Friday inside the Olympic Stadium. We preview the eight New Zealand athletes who will be proudly representing their country in the Japanese capital.

Lisa Adams – Women’s shot put F37 and discus F38

Despite only taking up competitive athletics in 2018, the 30-year-old has developed into a formidable competitor on the international stage. Winner of the World Championships in 2019 and the current world record-holder in the shot put F37 – she will take all the beating in her primary event in Tokyo.

Rotorua-based Lisa, coached by older sister and four-time Olympic medallist Dame Valerie Adams, will also look for a strong showing in the women’s discus, where she will up against throwers in the F38 classification.

When competes:

Saturday August 28 – Women’s shot put F37 final – 10.21pm

Saturday September 4 – Women’s discus F38 final – 10.35pm

Danielle Aitchison – Women’s 100m and 200m T36

Just two years after taking up the sport, the promising Hamilton City Hawks athlete announced her arrival on the global stage by winning a silver medal in the women’s 200m T36 at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai. Under the wily coaching of Alan McDonald, the 20-year-old University of Waikato student has continued to develop and is currently ranked number one in the world for both the T36 100m and 200m.

When competes:

Sunday August 29 – Women’s 200m T36 heats – from 12:26am / final – 3.10pm

Wednesday September 1 – Women’s 100m T36 heats from – 2.15pm / final – 10.10pm

Caitlin Dore – Women’s shot put F37

The Christchurch-based thrower is set for her second Paralympic appearance in a new event. Taking up the sport at the age of 11, she made her Paralympic debut in Rio 2016 placing seventh in the women’s javelin F37. Under the coaching of Hayden Hall, Caitlin now specialises in the shot. Finishing seventh in the shot put F37 at the 2019 World Para Championships, the 25-year-old is currently ranked fourth in the world behind her countrywoman Lisa Adams.

When competes:

Saturday August 28 – Women’s shot put F37 final – 10.21pm

Anna Grimaldi – Women’s long jump T47

The Dunedin-based jumper caused a sensation to strike Paralympic long jump gold at Rio 2016 on her final jump. After suffering several years of injury frustration, the Brent Ward-coached athlete is now back to her very best setting a flurry of PB’s during the 2020-2021 domestic campaign. Ranked number one in the world this year courtesy of a 5.91m leap – the 24-year-old long jumper will go into the Tokyo Games full of confidence.

When competes:

Friday September 3 – Women’s long jump T47 final – 12.35pm

Holly Robinson – Women’s javelin F46

Raised in Hokitika on the West Coast, the most experienced member of the New Zealand team will make her third Paralympic Games appearance in Tokyo. Winner of a silver medal in Rio 2016, she has since snared successive javelin F46 silver medals at the 2017 and 2019 World Para Athletics Championships and silver at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Holly, who is coached by Raylene Bates, is currently ranked number one in the world and showed her ability by winning a women’s javelin silver medal against able-bodied athletes at the 2021 Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships in Hastings in March.

When competes:

Friday September 3 – Women’s javelin F46 final – 10.28pm

Will Stedman – Men’s 400m T36 and men’s long jump T36

The Christchurch-based athlete made his Paralympic debut aged just 16 at Rio 2016 – winning 400m and 800m T36 bronze medals in a breakout performance. Since then, versatile Will has continued to win medals on the international stage, grabbing 800m silver at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships and 400m bronze at the next edition in 2019. Coached by George Edwards, he is ranked world number two in the 400m and number four in the men’s long jump.

When competes:

Monday August 30 – Men’s long jump T36 final 10.14pm

Tuesday August 31 – Men’s 400m T36 final 2.20pm

Anna Steven – Women’s 100m and 200m T64

The 20-year-old North Harbour Bays sprinter was the most recent name selected for the New Zealand team for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Anna started running competitively at the age of 16 and in 2019 represented her country at the World Para Athletics Championships, finishing seventh in the 200m T64 final. She is currently ranked 11th in the world in the 100m and number eight in the world for the 200m.

When competes:

Tuesday August 31 – Women’s 200m T64 heats – from 1.00pm / final – 10.52pm

Thursday September 2 – Women’s 100m T64 heats – from 11.55pm

Friday September 3 – Women’s 100m T64 final – 10.14pm

Ben Tuimaseve – Men’s shot put F37

Taking up athletics in 2016 to try something different, the Papakura AC athlete has quickly developed into a top-class shot putter. Finishing 11th in the men’s shot put F37 at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, the John Eden-coached athlete has continued to improve. Now aged 32, Ben is enjoying his best year of his career to date and currently occupies eighth in the world rankings.

When competes:

Friday August 27 – Men’s shot put F37 final – 10.53pm.