Howarth Eyes Rio Games

New Zealand’s youngest ever Paralympian Nikita Howarth was in blistering form, winning two gold medals at the six-day IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow.

The 16 year old Cambridge High School student defended her World title, winning gold in the women’s SM7 200m individual medley in a time of 02:59.85.

Howarth took control of the race in an outstanding breaststroke leg and did not look back.

She continued to extend her lead, winning by nearly five seconds from silver medallist, Canadian Tess Routliffe (03:04.75).

It was only the second time that Howarth has swam under three minutes in this event.

“Nikita really showed her strength and ability,” says Jon Shaw, head performance coach, Para-Swimming.

The next day she swam a great race in the women’s S7 50m butterfly.  Her rival Courtney Jordan (USA) was no real match as Howarth won in a time of 35.93.

“I did a pretty good time in the heat and then followed it up in the final,” says Howarth, “I was really happy with my swim and gold medal.

“Two gold medals at World Champs, you cannot ask for more than that.”

Shaw says these results are very exciting and PNZ are looking forward to these events at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Howarth also set a new Oceania record of 01:28.7 placing sixth in the women’s 100m breaststroke BS8m, and was eighth in the 100m freestyle S7.

The New Zealand Para Swimming team showed they will be a force to be reckoned with at next years’ Rio Paralympic Games.

The team of eight were in stunning form throughout the World Championships, wrapping up the event ranked first in the world by capita for medals won, securing five Rio 2016 slots for the national and bringing home 16 medals.

Mary Fisher and Sophie Pascoe were the biggest contributors to the medal haul with a total of 11 medals between them including a staggering six gold, three silver and two bronze.

“This has been an outstanding meet for the New Zealand Para-Swimming team,” says Shaw.

“The IPC Swimming World Championships is our most important qualifying even leading into next years’ Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.”

Shaw says with just over one year to go until Rio “we are in a great position and we will move forward with plenty of momentum.”

Article : Na Colin Thorsen – Te Awamutu Courier
Photography : Luc Percival Photography



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