First of pair’s twin quests starts today

Anna Grimaldi.
Anna Grimaldi.


It is a different kind of pinnacle year for Anna Grimaldi and Holly Robinson.

The Dunedin Paralympians have a big campaign ahead at the Para Athletics World Championships in Kobe, Japan, starting today.

It is the first time the world championships are being held in a Paralympic year, having been postponed in 2021, and provided para athletes the same exposure their able bodied counterparts received.

Robinson said it was exciting having two in the same year, but her goal remained defending her F46 javelin title and a second medal in the shotput.

They were both using it as a foundation for the rest of the year.

"I’m really proud of the New Zealand team and Athletics NZ for jumping head first and supporting this bonus event", Grimaldi said.

"It might be the second-biggest event for us this year, but I know it means a lot to the whole team to be able to do our jobs and perform on the world stage."

Both Robinson and Grimaldi had breakthroughs at the world championships last year.

Grimaldi won her maiden bronze medal in the T47 100m sprint and broke a national record and won silver in the longjump with her 5.96m leap.

"It just showed me that the biggest thing holding me back was me", Grimaldi said.

"I needed to get out of my own way and just take up that space. Once I did, I flew and had the best time doing it."

Ecuadorian Kiara Rodriguez shattered the previous world record of 6.01m with her jump of 6.23m.

While others might find the target daunting, it took the pressure off Grimaldi somewhat.

"It’s shifted that ceiling of what I thought was possible.

"For so long 6m was such a looming mark for me . . . now that mark has been pushed even further feels quite freeing.

"I have room to breathe, bigger targets to chase and push me on to learn more about my longjump."

Robinson is lining up for her seventh world championships, but will only compete in the F46 shotput, with a small calf niggle ruling her out of the javelin.

It was a tough decision, but Robinson, and her support staff, felt is was best not to risk it with the Paralympics so soon.

She did not expect the injury to cause future issues, but it had not affected her throwing shotput, allowing her to still compete in the newer event.

Shotput returned to Robinson’s classification last year and she won silver in the event at last year’s world championships.

While there had been some big throws from her competitors since then, Robinson was still tracking nicely after a strong domestic season.

"I’m still placed in a really good position, but you never know what will happen on the day", Robinson said.

"Heading into this world champs, I need to focus on myself and the key things that I need to do in my technical model.

"If I do that, I know that there is a good throw sitting there, one that I would hope would get me on the podium again.

"I'm just really looking forward to seeing what I can produce here in Kobe, Japan, and building from there."

World Championship


Anna Grimaldi

Today: T47 100m heat 8.30pm

Tomorrow: T47 100m final 9.56pm (if qualified)

Friday: T47 longjump 1.30pm

Holly Robinson

Wednesday: F46 shotput final 8.55pm