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Danielle Obliterates World Record Enroute To Stunning 200m Gold

 Danielle Aitchison Credit: (Augusto Bizzi)

Danielle Aitchison executed an electrifying piece of sprinting to strike women’s 200m T36 gold in a jaw-dropping world record mark of 27.47 to retain her crown in style at the 2024 Para Athletics World Championships in Kobe, Japan today.

The 22-year-old Hamilton-based sprinter wiped a staggering 0.70 from the previous world record mark to exact revenge on her Chinese rival Yiting Shi – who claimed gold ahead of Aitchison in the women’s 100m T36 on Monday.

In a measure of the quality of the race, Shi ran an Asian record of 28.06 – some 0.11 under her previous world record mark which was firmly erased from the record books courtesy of Aitchison’s majestic run. The podium was rounded out by Mali Lovell of Australia, who clocked 29.81.

The Kiwi, who has enjoyed a fantastic 2024, did not panic after she trailed Shi by a couple of metres as the pair entered the home straight. Shi with her familiar staccato style appeared at that point poised to compete a sprint double in Kobe, but Aitchison had other ideas.

Gradually eating up the gap on her Chinese opponent midway down the home stretch, she hit the front and accelerated clear to an emphatic success.

An ecstatic Aitchison said of her win in a world record time: “It is so amazing. I can’t believe it. I learned a lot from the 100m, I learned to run my own race and be ready to go when the gun goes and that’s what I managed to execute in the 200m. The aim was the focus on myself - and I felt I did exactly that.

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“Coming across the line I did not expect to run such a time. I was totally mind blown by the time.”

Aitchison, whose previous PB was 28.19 set at the Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships in Wellington in March, can now look ahead to the Paris Paralympic Games with optimism after enjoying a hugely successful championships in Kobe.

“It gives me a lot of confidence going into Paris, there are still some things to work on, but I am ahead of where I thought I was. It gives me the confidence that I can do even better at the Paralympics.”

Two Kiwis compete at the 2024 Para Athletics World Championships on Friday (24 May). Mitch Joynt competes in heat one of the men’s 200m T64 at 12.22pm and Anna Grimaldi competes in the women’s long jump T47 final at 1.30pm.

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