Robinson's personal best wins silver medal in javelin

Holly Robinson
Holly Robinson
Words could not describe how happy Otago athlete Holly Robinson was after claiming silver in the women's javelin F46 on another successful day for New Zealand at the Rio Paralympics yesterday.

The 21-year-old New Zealand flag bearer was both ''buzzing'' and ''shattered'' following her personal-best and Oceania-record throw of 41.22m.

While she was unable to surpass Great Britain's Hollie Arnold, who threw a world record 43.01m to win gold, she was delighted with the result.

Robinson told the Greymouth Star the wait for the final result was nail-biting.

Her first throw of 40.80m put her in second, but she slipped to third as 2012 gold medallist Katarzyna Piekart, of Poland, edged ahead with a throw of 41.07m.

Robinson reached 40.83m with her fourth throw, before unleashing her best performance of the day with her fifth effort.

''It was not until she [Piekart] had her sixth-round throw that I knew I'd won a silver medal.

''It was so cool - it was amazing.''

Upon finishing, Robinson took a New Zealand flag from her fans and held it high as she celebrated her medal win.

She was physically shattered after the event, she said.

''The temperature had reached 38degC.

''It was ridiculously hot and another element I had to compete against.''

On Facebook, she shared her delight at winning the silver medal, and publicly thanked her Dunedin coach Raylene Bates.

''Silver medal at the Paralympic Games! Words cannot describe how happy I am right now.

''I want to say thank you to my coach Raylene Bates for all the hard work and time she puts in to help me reach my dreams; my family for being behind me 100% all the time, my training squad and support team, and everyone else from Hokitika, Dunedin and around the country for the amazing support during my road to Rio.''

''It means a lot!''

On her way back to the Paralympic village, Robinson made a quick telephone call to her family in Hokitika.

''They watched the event at 2.30am and when I called them, I woke them up again.

''They were so proud of me.''

For Robinson, it was the highlight of the past five years, after finishing seventh at the London Paralympics four years ago, and winning bronze and silver medals in the 2013 and 2015 athletics world championships.

She has a congenital limb reduction in her left arm, which ends below the elbow.

Robinson lives in Dunedin, where she finished bachelor's degrees in applied sciences and physical education last year, at the University of Otago.

Fellow Otago Paralympian, swimmer Hamish McLean, finished seventh in the final of the 400m freestyle S6, in a time of 5min 30.63sec.

McLean (16), of Wanaka, swam an Oceania record of 5:22.88 in his heat, to finish third and qualify sixth. However, the pace in the final proved a drastic step up, as Italy's Francesco Bocciardo won in 5:02.15.

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