NZ Paralympians target 12 golds in Rio

11:15 am on 8 September 2016

The New Zealand Paralympic team has a target for the Rio Games, but it's more to do with the colour of the medals they'll hopefully win.

Chef de Mission Ben Lucas said their aim in Rio wasn't an increase in the number of medals, but rather they were chasing more gold.

Para-cyclist Fraser Sharp has been added to the New Zealand team for the Rio Paralympics.

Cyclist Fraser Sharp has been added to the New Zealand team for the Rio Paralympics. Photo: Dianne Manson

Lucas said there were high expectations for the 31-strong New Zealand team that would compete across six sports.

In London, four years ago, the country's 24-strong team won 17 medals with six of those gold.

Lucas said there was more depth in the team now.

"In partnership with High Performance Sport New Zealand, which is our major funding partner, we've got a target of 18 medals with 12 of them gold. That's one more than we won in London and all our tracking has indicated that we are on track to meet those targets."

Two of the swimming stars in London are again expected to lead the way.

Four years ago, Mary Fisher won four medals including a gold, while Sophie Pascoe won three gold and three silver medals. They are both competing again, joined by 17-year-old Nikita Howarth, who is expected to keep the New Zealand flag flying at the pool; she goes into the Games with two world titles and a world record under her belt.

In the athletics, javelin thrower Holly Robinson is a leading gold medal contender. She finished seventh in London and since then has won silver and bronze medals at the IPC world athletic championships.

"We have a lot more depth in our sports now, and are very strong across all of our sports, just to make it to the Paralympic Games now an athlete has to be very good," Lucas said.

New Zealand has a strong para-cyling team with world champion Emma Foy and Laura Thompson in the tandem and Kate Horan, who has made the transition from athletics and broke a world record in the Flying 200.

Shooter Michael Johnson has been at the top of his event for many years.

Para-canoeist Scott Martlew and para-cyclist Fraser Sharp were late selections for Rio.

Martlew missed qualifying by less than a second at the Para-Canoe World Championships but the Russian suspension has moved him into the qualification criteria.

This is the first time para-canoe has been included in the Paralympics competition schedule.

The team consists of one para-canoeist, three para-sailors, three para-shooters, eight para-cyclists, eight para-swimmers and eight para-athletics athletes.

NZ team for Rio 2016 Paralympics


Michael Johnson Auckland/Auckland SH2C Loss of muscle power (Tetraplegia)

Jason Eales Hamilton/Durban SH2C Loss of muscle power (Spinal cord injury)

Greg Reid Wairarapa/Christchurch SH1 Single limb deficiency


Holly Robinson Dunedin / Hokitika F/T46 (field) Single limb deficiency

Jessica Hamill Dunedin / Invercargill F34 (field) Hypertonia (Cerebral Palsy)

Rory McSweeney Dunedin / Wellington F44 (field) Single limb deficiency

Liam Malone Auckland / Nelson T43 (track) Double limb deficiency

Anna Grimaldi Dunedin / Dunedin T47 (t & f) Single limb deficiency

William Stedman Christchurch / Christchurch T36 (t & f) Ataxia (Cerebral Palsy)

Caitlin Dore Dunedin / Christchurch F37 (field) Hypertonia (Cerebral Palsy)

Jacob Phillips Dunedin / Hamilton T35 (track) Hypertonia (Cerebral Palsy)


Kate Horan Wellington / Wellington C4 Single limb deficiency

Emma Foy Cambridge / Dargaville BVI Visual impairment

Amanda Cameron Wellington / Wellington BVI Visual impairment

Laura Thompson Auckland / Christchurch n/a (Sighted pilot) n/a

Hannah van Kampen Cambridge / Hawkes Bay n/a (Sighted pilot) n/a

Byron Raubenheimer Auckland / South Africa C4 Single limb deficiency

Stephen Hills New Plymouth / New Plymouth T2 Right side hemiplegic (Paralysis)

Fraser Sharp Tauranga/Tauranga C3 Single limb deficiency


Sophie Pascoe Christchurch / Christchurch S10, SB9, SM10 Single limb deficiency

Mary Fisher Auckland / Wellington S11, SB11, SM11 Visual impairment

Cameron Leslie Auckland / Whangarei S5, SM4 Quadruple limb deficiency

Nikita Howarth Cambridge / Cambridge S7, SB8, SM7 Double limb deficiency

Rebecca Dubber Auckland / Auckland S7, SB6, SM7 Loss of muscle power (Paraplegia)

Jesse Reynolds Auckland / Hamilton S9, SB9, SM9 Single limb deficiency

Hamish McLean Wanaka / Wanaka S6, SB6, SM6 Short stature (Achondroplasia)

Tupou Neiufi Auckland / Auckland S9, SB8, SM9 Hypertonia (Left side hemiplegia)


Richard Dodson Auckland/Wellington Sport Class 6 Loss of muscle power (Multiple Sclerosis)

Andrew May Auckland / Christchurch Sport Class 4 Loss of muscle power (Paraplegia)

Chris Sharp Auckland / Auckland Sport Class 4 Loss of muscle power (Paraplegia)


Scott Martlew Christchurch/Christchurch KL3 Single limb deficiency