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Aitchison wins 200m para gold with record

Updated: May 24

Danielle Aitchison para athletics
Danielle Aitchison ran a world record time to win gold at the Para Athletics World Championships. PHOTO: ATHLETICS NZ

Danielle Aitchison struck women’s 200m T36 gold in a world-record time of 27.47 seconds to retain her crown in style at the 2024 Para Athletics World Championships in Kobe, Japan on Thursday.

The 22-year-old Hamilton-based sprinter wiped a staggering 0.70 sec from the previous world record to exact revenge on her Chinese rival Yiting Shi, who claimed gold ahead of Aitchison in the women’s 100m T36 on Monday.

In a measure of the quality of the race, Shi ran an Asian record of 28.06 seconds – some 0.11 sec under her previous world record mark which was firmly erased from the record books courtesy of Aitchison’s majestic run.

The Kiwi, who has enjoyed a fantastic 2024, did not panic after she trailed Shi by a couple of metres as the pair entered the home straight. Shi appeared at that point poised to compete a sprint double in Kobe, but Aitchison had other ideas.

Gradually eating up the gap on her Chinese opponent midway down the home stretch, she hit the front and accelerated clear to an emphatic win.

“It is so amazing," an ecstatic Aitchison said. "I can’t believe it.

"I learned a lot from the 100m, I learned to run my own race and be ready to go when the gun goes and that’s what I managed to execute in the 200m. The aim was the focus on myself, and I felt I did exactly that.

“Coming across the line I did not expect to run such a time. I was totally mind blown by the time.”

Aitchison, whose previous personal-best was 28.19 seconds set at the New Zealand Track and Field Championships in Wellington in March, can now look ahead to the Paris Paralympics with optimism. 

“It gives me a lot of confidence going into Paris, there are still some things to work on, but I am ahead of where I thought I was. It gives me the confidence that I can do even better at the Paralympics.”

Meanwhile, a stunning Oceania record throw of 12.25m propelled Holly Robinson to a brilliant women’s shot put F46 silver medal on day six of the Para Athletics World Championships.

The 29-year-old Kiwi, competing at her seventh world championships, advanced in the final from provisional bronze position ahead of Japan’s Yukiko Sato to climb to the second rung of the podium and clinch her sixth Para worlds medal of her career.

Robinson, the Paralympic javelin F46 champion, who opted to focus on the shot put only in Japan, was rewarded with more precious metal after steadily building through the competition which reached a glorious crescendo in the final round, with a best throw of 12.25m.

“It was a real nerve-wracking comp a lot of the girls were throwing shorter distances. Heading into my last throw I knew I had a medal in the bag, but I really wanted silver," Robinson said.

“I just wasn’t technically nailing it (in the earlier rounds), I was a bit out of time the circle was quite sticky, so I needed to focus on getting that foot underneath. I managed to do that, and to produce a very good throw, I’m very happy."


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