Dunedin athlete Anna Grimaldi has won a dramatic bronze medal in the Women's T47 long jump at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
After sitting in fifth place in the early rounds, the Dunedin 18 year old jumped 5.41m in the fourth round to grab a share of third place. Needing a good backup jump, she got out to 5.38m in round 5 to grab third place outright on the countback from a Russian competitor. Neither jumper could improve on their sixth and final attempt.
The title went to Australian Carlee Beattie with a best jump of 5.75m, from Yunidis Castillo of Cuba on 5.46m.
The quantity surveying student who was born without a right hand and competes in the T47 classification for below elbow amputees, took up athletics in 2013. Anna was ecstatic with her performance having gone into the championships as in international novice with a long jump best of 5.29m.
Although missing one of two automatic qualifying spots for the Rio 2016 Paralympics, Anna's performance indicates that she should be selected for next years Paralympic Games in Brazil.
Coach Brent Ward was very pleased with the medal winning performance.
"The main purpose for this trip was to get Anna accustomed to competing in big events, with all the travel and procedures that she hasn't had to deal with before", said Ward.
"Anna has had just 2 years in the sport but is a beautiful smooth and balanced runner. We haven't worked out what Anna's best event will be yet as she competes well in 100m, 200m, 400m and long jump. She's great to work with and has an excellent team behind her", Ward added.
Grimaldi will compete in the 100m and 200m events later in the championships.
Javelin specialist Holly Robinson, also competing in the long jump placed 12th. Robinson's Javelin final is on the final day of the championships, 31 October.
Canterbury sprinter William Stedman finished sixth in the Men's T36 400m final, in a time of 57.57, just outside his personal best. The youngest member of the team at just 15, Stedman who has Cerebral Palsy, will also compete in the long jump and 200m events.
Photo credit - Getty Images.