You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Multi-tasker Hamill nabs Rio bronze

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/09/2016

Kiwi Paralympian Jessica Hamill says the struggles of balancing full-time work and training make winning a bronze medal even sweeter.

Hamill, 26, snared third place in the Rio women's shot put on Thursday (NZT) with her opening effort of 7.54m.

She finished behind gold medal winner Lijuan Zou from China, who threw a world-record 8.75m, and second-placed Pole Lucyna Kornobys with 8.00m.

Hamill told NZN that juggling athletics and her job as a file clerk was demanding and required a huge amount of discipline.

She was proud of herself for her achievements.

"It's been a really tough year with a full-time job and training as a top athlete, with the role it's placed on me," Hamill told NZN.

"It means the world to me."

Hamill, who is based in Dunedin, went into the competition without any expectation of earning a podium place.

She only hoped to better her personal best of 7.84m, which she wasn't able to achieve.

However she wasn't too upset, given the bronze hanging from her neck.

"I was really buzzed up even before I got into the stadium," Hamill said.

"It's so official, going in a line and you go out and the crowd is really good and you see your teammates cheering for you.

"It's pretty special."

The Rio Paralympics are Hamill's second Games after taking part in Beijing six years ago.

She has also participated in the IPC world championships and the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Hamill, who is impaired with hypertonia, took a two-year sabbatical from athletics between 2012 and 2014 to broaden her horizons.

She said her time off the track helped her succeed in Rio.

Hamill's bronze takes the Kiwi medal tally to 17, one short of the country's goal of 18 Paralympic medals.

The tally includes eight golds, five silvers and four bronze.

Elsewhere, 200m gold medallist Liam Malone qualified second fastest for Friday's 400m T44 final by posting 48.34 seconds in his heat.

Para-canoeist Scott Martlew also qualified for the final in the men's KL3 with a fourth-placed finish in his semi-final.

On the water of Guanabara Bay, the Sonar crew of Chris Sharp, Andrew May and Richard Dodson have moved into a bronze medal position after six races.

They have 21 points overall after two fourth placings and a sixth, and sit just three points behind the United States in second.

Great Britain lead on 12 points.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon