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Aitchison sprints to world para athletics gold

Danielle Aitchison
Danielle Aitchison Photo: Athletics NZ

New Zealand sprinter Danielle Aitchison executed the race of her life to smash the Oceania record and claim victory in the women's 200m T36 at the para athletics world championships in Paris.

The 21-year-old Hamilton-based athlete, who claimed a 100m T36 silver medal earlier in the championships, won in 28.50 seconds, knocking almost half a second off her best time to finish nearly 2sec ahead of Australian Mali Lovell.

Coached by Alan McDonald, the Kiwi made an outstanding start and quickly got into her sprinting. By the crown of the bend, she had already caught the stagger on all those outside her and entering the home straight she held a lead of more than five metres.

"I am feeling so happy with my 200m, it was amazing. I had no idea where any of the girls I just had to keep running my own race until I got past that finish line," she said.

"I didn't think I would run that fast, I was actually a bit tired today, so I took on a technical approach to get my arms and pelvis to tilt to cross that ground, which is exactly what I did."

On what she said to her mum after warmly embracing her post-race: "I couldn't get a word in. She was beside herself crying saying how proud she was and how much she loves me."