Anna Grimaldi leaps record distance for gold

4:02 pm on 3 September 2021

New Zealand Paralympian Anna Grimaldi has leapt to the gold medal in the T47 long jump at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Anna Grimaldi wins a gold medal in the long jump T47 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Friday 3 September 2021. © Photo: Drew Chislett /

Photo: PhotoSport

Grimaldi set a Paralympic Record with her first jump of 5.74 metres in the wet conditions.

She recorded a no jump in her second and third of six attempts, but extended her lead with a jump of 5.76m in her fourth jump and couldn't better it on her fifth and sixth leaps.

The Russian Paralympic Committee's Aleksandra Moguchaia took the silver medal with a season's best jump of 5.67m.

Equador's Kiara Rodriguez recorded a South American record leap of 5.63m for the bronze medal.

Grimaldi, 24, from Dunedin was the defending champion in this event after winning gold at the last Paralympics in Rio five years ago.

Heading into the delayed Paralympics in Japan, Grimaldi said she was wary of the newcomers in the event, but she went into the final with a 31 centimetre advantage over her nearest rival.

After claiming gold Grimaldi said: "I'm in a whirlwind. There has been so much that has gone into this for the past five years and I owe a lot to a lot of people. I hope I did them proud out there.

"The weather wasn't ideal, but I got stuck in. It has been a huge five years and I just feel the weight of the world has lifted off my shoulders.

"The plan was to go in with a safe jump and not foul my first jump, so I'm stoked that I didn't (and set a Paralympic record) and that helped me relax. But in saying that I was not that calm.

"The last couple of weeks have been pretty tough, I've been pretty nervous and the doubts and the stress had crept in.

"The confidence had dwindled but I was super lucky to have people around me to support that; my partner, my family and friends, HP support staff my mental skills trainer, the team psychologist. It has been not only a rollercoaster last five years but also a rollercoaster last four weeks.

"In Rio I won by accident but here I did it on purpose. I've changed as a person, and I hoped it is obvious to people watching how different I am. I'm really proud."

Also in action on Friday at Japan's Olympic Stadium is Rio silver medalist Holly Robinson in the F46 javelin just before 10.30pm.