NZ athlete strikes gold in Abu Dhabi
A Wellington athlete has claimed New Zealand’s first gold medal at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.
Runner Dominic Faherty secured New Zealand’s first gold medal of the games with a win in the 200 metres with a time of 35.88. Head Athletics Coach Shona McGahon said she was extremely proud.
“In Special Olympics you always hope that you have put in the right times and distances and given the athletes the best chance to achieve and when it all happens there are no words. I just feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to be with them in this journey”.
Other results in athletics included a silver medal for Rangiora shot-putter Kyle Harpur, and respective fourth and seventh placing for Matthew Westwood and Braden Kendall (both from Manawatu) in the 200 metres.
In a tense competition James Wilson (Howick-Pakuranga) won four silver medals in Power Lifting. He said he was “proud to be second in the world” and his smile said it all, he was ecsatic and had forgotten about the nerves and tension from inside the Power Lifting venue.
Charlotte Aroa (Waikato) secured a bronze medal in the English Working Trails Level B1. Although initially disappointed with her ride, as her horse was a little spooked by the conditions and a new rider, Charlotte did enough to come third and is now very delighted with the start to her equestrian competition.
Katie McMilan (Waitakere) secured a silver medal in the singles with a total score of 355, well above her average score.
Richard Willmott (Canterbury) and David Nixon (Waikato) both participated in the mens’ singles event, coming away with a bronze medal each. Prior to the World Summer Games David’s average for 10 frames was 143, however after much hard work leading up to the games David increased his average to 176 after divisioning and was playing in a much higher level. In his first round David started off strongly with a 201 and finished the three rounds with a score of 509 and secured a bronze medal. Richard too has been steadily increasing his average and played exceptionally well today to score 387.