Above: Holly Robinson in action at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Photo by Lucas Uebel Getty Images Sport.
New Zealand struck its first medal of the 2017 Para Athletics World Championships in London on Sunday morning NZ time, with Holly Robinson firing her javelin out to 42.41m, finishing a close second to Great Britain's Hollie Arnold who threw 43.02m.
The result in the Queen Elizabeth London Olympic Stadium was a repeat of the 2016 Rio Paralympics where Arnold edged Robinson 43.01m to 41.22m.
Robinson (F46 classification) who trains in Dunedin under coach Raylene Bates, performed right up to her best, making a valiant effort to overhaul Arnold on the last throw of the competition. Her sixth attempt was within 0.61m of the British athlete.
Robinson’s first five attempts were 39.91, 38.92, 38.47, 41.83 and 40.89.
The 22 year old, originally from Hokitika has a personal best of 42.68, set earlier this year.
A disappointed Anna Grimaldi made the difficult decision to withdraw from the 200m final for which she qualified yesterday and also the 100m because of a foot injury.
"Over the last 4 weeks I have had a constant battle with my foot to try and make it race-ready before world champs", said 20 year old Grimaldi from Dunedin, gold medallist in the Rio Paralympics T47 long jump.
"After last night’s race it was clear that it wasn't going to hold up in three more races and a long jump competition, so following medical advice, I had to make the decision to withdraw from tonight's 200m final and the 100m race on Monday in order to recover and hopefully be in the best shape possible for the long jump. This was a very tough decision to make but with advice from my support team I believe it's the right thing to do. Thanks to everyone for your support and I hope to make NZ proud next Sunday", she added.
Grimaldi's coach Brent Ward said it was a tough call.
"We had to make this decision with Anna's long jump on the last day of competition in mind. It's so gutting for us, but gives time for rehab" said Ward.
Next up for the New Zealand team will be Keegan Pitcher in the T36 200m heats on Sunday evening New Zealand time.
Follow the New Zealand team at the Para Athletic World Champs