Successful opening day for NZ Paralympians

5:40 pm on 9 September 2016

New Zealand athletes have had a successful opening day at the Paralympics in Rio winning gold and bronze medals.

Dunedin's Anna Grimaldi won New Zealand's first medal of the Games snatching victory in the long jump T47 catgory with her final jump of 5.62 metres.

Anna Grimaldi

Anna Grimaldi Photo: Supplied

The 18 year old sat in the minor placings through her first five rounds before her winning leap.

It was her third personal best of the day and took her ahead of a Cuban athlete.

Grimaldi said she was taken aback by her performance.

"I wasn't expecting it at all so yeah, just a flood of emotions. I'm a bit numb now but at the time I was just so happy," she told Checkpoint.

"That was the biggest legal jump I'd done by a mile so yeah, very, very happy.

"I worked really hard this year and last year as well... I guess that I really wanted to eventually be a Paralympic Champion, I didn't think it would be this soon, so yeah, [it's] crazy!

"You choose a different lifestyle being an athlete and this type of stuff makes it all worth it for sure."

Grimaldi still has two events at the Games, the 100m and 200m.

New Zealand last won a medal in a Paralympic field events for women in 1988 when Leslie Mancktelow picked up a bronze in the Long Jump B3.

The win is New Zealand's first Para-athletic medal since 2004 when Peter Martin won two golds and a bronze medal at the Athens Games in 2004.

Rebecca Dubber of Auckland won the second medal of the day with a bronze medal in the 100 metres backstroke S7.

Kate Horan finished fourth the individual pursuit.

Kate Horan finished fourth the individual pursuit. Photo: Getty Images

Kate Horan finished fourth in the women's individual pursuit.