Central North Island Wins Paralympics New Zealand National Championships

08 Nov 2011 By IPC

Central North Island walked away as the first-place finisher at the 38th edition of the Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) National Championships last weekend in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Auckland/Northland finished second in the 16-sport event – a battle between the nation’s five largest regions – while Canterbury finished third.

More than 160 athletes took part in the Games.

Francis Dirk stole the headlines in the Equestrian event, winning gold in the FEI Novice Test, FEI Championships Test, FEI Musical Freestyle Test and FEI Team Test events. In Swimming, Nikita Howarth finished the Championships with four medals and broke four PNZ records along the way.

New Zealand’s athletes showed the nation what they are capable of with less than 300 days to go until the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The country finished 24th overall in the medal standings at the last Summer Games with five gold, three silver and four bronze medals.