Rio Paralympics: Jessica Hamill wins shot put bronze, Liam Malone makes third final
Jessica Hamill only needed one throw to claim the bronze medal in the women's shot put F34 final at the Paralympic Games in Rio on Thursday (NZ time), with her best effort coming from her first attempt.
With her first throw being her best, Hamill was in the top three for the whole competition.
The 26-year-old from Dunedin threw 7.54m to finish third, as China's Zou Lijuan won with a world record throw of 8.75m. Poland's Lucyna Kornobys claimed silver with 8.00m.
Hamill, who was competing in her second Paralympic Games, said it was a top quality competition and she was happy with her first effort getting her the bronze.
* The table tennis player with no arms
* Paralympic star's depression battle
* Malone cruises into 400m final
* Silver and gold success in Rio
* Malone recalls rivalry with Pascoe
* Triple gold and a bronze for NZ
* Your complete guide to when New Zealanders are in action
* Your guide to what the different classifications mean
"I loved it out there and it was such a thrill but it was very hard. I think my experience of being to the Paralympic Games in Beijing was so useful and it meant I wasn't nervous, just excited.
"I knew what to expect and the process I needed to follow. At the end of the day I won a bronze though and I am really happy."
She's been a silver medallist in two world championships in 2015 and 2006, and also the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010.
Hamill has cerebral palsy and her bronze means New Zealand are one medal off their pre-Games target of 18. The team are ninth on the medal table, with eight golds, five silvers and four bronze medals.
MALONE MAKES THIRD FINAL
Kiwi Blade Runner Liam Malone will run for his third medal of the Paralympics after comfortably qualifying for the final of the men's 400m T44.
The 22-year-old Nelson sprinter eased up on the home straight and finished second in his heat behind Germany's David Behre.
Malone's time of 48.34s was just shy of his personal best of 48.21s in the 400m, which is his strongest event.
He's already won silver and gold in the 100m and 200m respectively.
The 400m final is scheduled to take place on Friday morning at 2:38am (NZ time).
HOWARTH MISSES OUT
Nikita Howarth missed out on another medal after finishing seventh in the women's breaststroke SB8.
The 17-year-old Cambridge para-swimmer qualified for her fourth final of the Games seventh fastest, after winning gold and bronze medals in the pool this week.
But she couldn't add a third as Canada's Katarina Roxon won gold with a time of one minute and 19.44s. Britain's Claire Cashmore and Ireland's Ellen Keane won silver and bronze respectively.
Howarth, who became New Zealand's youngest ever Paralympian in London four years ago, aged 13, clocked a time of 1:13.11 in her last race of the Games, which has been a resounding success after gold in the women's 200m individual medley SM7 and bronze in the women's butterfly S7.
HOW NZ FARED ELSEWHERE
It was a day of firsts for the New Zealand team, with para-cyclist Stephen Hills and para-canoeist Scott Martlew being the first ever Kiwis to compete in their respective races.
Martlew, who was a late addition to New Zealand's 31-strong team following the suspension of Russian para-athletes for doping offences by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, qualified for the final of the Men's KL3 on his Paralympics debut in Rio.
The 23-year-old from Christchurch finished fourth in his heat and then qualified for Friday's final with another fourth-placed finish in the semi-final.
His time of 44:28.4 was only 1.4s behind the semi-final's winner, Britain's Robert Oliver.
Martlew, New Zealand's first ever para-canoeist at the Paralympic Games, said he still didn't believe it himself that he was competing at the Games.
"A couple of weeks ago I was sitting at my desk at work not even selected for the Paralympic Games and then I get the call. Two weeks later here I am today qualified for the final."
Hills competing in the in the men's time trial T1-2 trike race came eighth with a time of 26:23.64. Germany's Han Peter-Durst won gold after clocking a time of 22:57.34.
New Zealand's para-cyclists failed to medal on Thursday, with 2008 silver medallist Kate Horan only coming eighth in the women's road cycling time trial C4 with a time of 33:32.7, which was won by USA's Shawn Morelli with 29:45.40.
Tandem pair Emma Foy and Laura Thompson, who won silver in the women's 3000m B individual pursuit on Monday, came fourth in the women's road cycling time trial, 12.06s shy of a bronze medal after a time of 39:45.87.
Amanda Cameron and Hannah van Kampen were back in eighth with a time of 42:29.93. Ireland pairing Katie-George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal won gold with 38:59.22.
Fraser Sharp finished eighth in the men's time trial C3, with Ireland's Eoghan Clifford winning gold with 38:21.29. Sharp was almost four minutes off the pace with a time of 42:20.07.
Rebecca Dubber narrowly missed out on her second medal of the Games, after finishing fourth in the women's 400m freestyle S7.
The 23-year-old para-swimmer, who won bronze in the women's 100m backstroke S7 last Friday, finished more than 25 seconds behind the gold medal winner, USA's McKenzie Coan, who won with a time of 5:05.77.
USA's Cortney Jordan and Britain's Susie Rodgers won silver and bronze respectively, with Dubber clocking a time of 5:31.53, which was more than eight seconds shy of Rodgers' time that secured bronze.
Para-shooter Greg Reid couldn't qualify for the final of the R3 mixed 50m rifle prone SH1, with a score of 596.1 leaving him in 37th position.
SONAR CREW IN CONTENTION
Sonar para-sailing crew of Chris Sharp, Andrew May and Richard Dodson remain in medal contention after six races, with New Zealand's team third behind USA and Australia.
Finishes of fourth, sixth and fourth in the last three races leaves them well placed with four to go before the medal race on Sunday (NZ time).
Australia lead the points table with 19, USA are second on 27, with New Zealand third on 29. Norway and Great Britain are fourth and fifth on 32 and 37 points respectively.