4 MARCH - 13 MARCH 2022 (UTC)

28 August - 8 Sept 2024 (FST)

Nikita Howarth

Nikita Howarth

Name Nikita Howarth
Sport Para cycling (since 2017)
Date of Birth
24 December 1998
Coach Stuart MacDonald
Resides Cambridge
Occupation Student
Classification C4
Disability/impairment Bilateral upper limb deficiency
Paralympian # 179 - Rio 2016 and London 2012


Major International Results
2018 UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships 9th - Women’s C4 Individual Pursuit
14th - Mixed 750m Team Sprint
2016 Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Gold - Women’s 200m IM SM7
Bronze - Women’s 50m Butterfly S7
6th - Women’s 100m Backstroke S7
7th - Women’s 100m Breaststroke SB8
2015 IPC Swimming World Championships Gold - Women's 50m Butterfly S7
Gold - Women's 200m IM SM7
4th - Women's 100m Backstroke S7
6th - Women's 100m Breaststroke SB8
8th - Women's 100m Freestyle S7
2014 Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships Gold - Women’s 200m Individual Medley SM7
Gold - Women’s 50m Butterfly S7
Silver - Women’s 100m Breaststroke SB8
Bronze - Women’s 100m Freestyle S7
Bronze - Women’s 100m Backstroke S7
6th - Women’s 50m Freestyle S7
2014 Commonwealth Games 5th - Women’s 100m Freestyle S8
7th - 100m Women’s Breaststroke SB9
2013 IPC Swimming World Championships Gold - Women’s 200m Individual Medley SM7
Bronze - Women’s 50m Butterfly S7
2012 London Paralympic Games 6th - Women’s 200m Individual Medley SM7
9th - Women’s 100m Breaststroke SB9
11th - Women’s 50m Butterfly S7
2011 Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships Silver - Women’s 50m Butterfly S7
Bronze - Women’s100m Breaststroke SB9

World Records
Flying 200m (Para cycling)
Women's 100m Butterfly S7 (Para swimming)
0:12.95 (set December 2018)
1:18.65 (set September 2016


Nikita Howarth has always done things in a hurry. Learning to swim aged “three or four” she started the sport competitively aged seven before making her international Para swimming debut as a 12-year-old.

In 2012, at the tender age of 13, the Cambridge-based swimmer became New Zealand’s youngest ever Paralympian and the following year she was crowned a world champion. It has been a meteoric rise. Inspired to one day win a Paralympic Gold medal following a school visit from 2004 Olympic cycling champion Sarah Ulmer, Nikita has wasted no time in pursuing her dreams.

Describing competing in front of 17,000 spectators at the London 2012 Paralympic Games as “overwhelming” she nonetheless performed above expectations, placing sixth in the 200m Individual Medley SM7.

On her return to New Zealand, the Cambridge High School student added Backstroke and Freestyle events to her schedule to meet her desire to compete in more races and adopting a more “positive attitude to swimming” made huge gains.

At the 2013 IPC Swimming World Championships in Canada she struck Gold in the 200m Individual Medley and earned a Bronze in the 50m Butterfly

“It was a great feeling to know I was top of the world,” says Nikita, who rises at 5am for training each day and fits in 11 sessions per week. 

The Te Awamutu Swim Club member continued to impress, winning five medals at last year’s Pan-Pacific Para-Swimming Championships before notching two Gold medals - in the S7 50m Butterfly and SM7 200m Individual Medley - at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow.

Nikita headed to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with very clear targets of what she wanted to achieve.“I want to win Gold in the 50m fly,” she says of her favoured event. “To become a Paralympic Gold medallist would be cool.”

Nikita went on to achieve her goal and better it by one medal, winning bronze in the Women's 50m Butterfly S7. With an incredible schedule of four events at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, she set 3 season bests and 2 personal best times. With gold and bronze medals, Nikita was New Zealand's third most successful Paralympian in Rio, amongst a stand out team of 31 Paralympians. The Team secured a stunning 21 medals across 12 individual medallists – 9 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze – beating its pre-Games target of 18 medals by 3 medals. The team finished 1st in the world per capita and 13th in the world overall (previous best: 16th).

Nikita currently holds one World record in Para swimming. In 2017 Nikita decided to try another sport and has fallen in love to Para cycling. Less than one year after starting the sport she has now competed at her first UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships back in Rio. She produced a series of personal bests and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. In December 2018 Nikita broke the Flying 200m world record. Her time of 12.95 seconds took 0.248 seconds off the previous record set by New Zealand Paralympian Kate Horan in February 2016.


“You’ve gotta chase your dreams because they can’t chase you.”

About Nikita

Classification means…

C1 - 5: Athletes who are able to use a standard bicycle compete in these classes. Sport class C1 is allocated to athletes with the most severe activity limitation, while the sport class C5 is allocated to athletes who just meet the minimum disability criteria. 


Major Partners

ToyatoHigh Performance Sport New Zealand

Official Partners

Adecco ACCHarvey NormanTVNZ

Community Partners

SanfordNew Zealand Chambers of Commerce
New Zealand Racing BoardPub CharityThe Lion FoundationNew Zealand Community Trust

Official Suppliers

Simpson Gierson Blue StarOceanbridge        


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