New Zealand Winter Games in Full Swing

26 Aug 2009 By IPC

The 100 percent Pure New Zealand Winter Games are in the middle of a full programme, with athletes with a disability and able-bodied athletes from all over the world together competing for top positions.

The integrated event began on 21 August and has already had a strong showing of athletes. In the Cross-Country Women’s 5km competition (Standing category) on 25 August, Sara Renner of Canada took the top position clocking at a time of 13:02.75. Second and third positions were also taken by Canadians. Perianne Jones and Brittany Webster finished 38 and 45 seconds after Renner respectively. Korea’s Chae-won Lee and Japan’s Chisa Obayashi took the fourth and fifth positions.

In the Cross-Country Men’s 10km (Sitting category), Japan’s Kozo Kubo took first with an adjusted time of 28:36.05. Kubo was followed by USA’s Chris Klebl, who finished less than a minute later. Canada’s Lou Gibson and Australia’s Dominic Monypenny came in third and fourth respectively.

In the Cross-Country Men’s 15km (Standing category), Yoshihiro Nitta from Japan took the first position with an adjusted time of 42:23.55. Nitta was followed by Mark Arendz (CAN) and Keiichi Sato (JPN). In the Women’s 10km competition (Standing category), Shoko Ota from Japan took first with an adjusted time of 37:03.45. Ota was followed by Jody Barber (CAN) and Momoko Dekijima (JPN).

The 100 percent Pure New Zealand Winter Games will continue until 30 August. The importance of 100 percent Pure New Zealand Winter Games in the area of Paralympic Sport is further highlighted by the IPC’s decision to set the qualifying standard for the Games at the same level as for the Paralympics. This is a direct result of 100 percent Pure New Zealand Winter Games’s progressive decision to include Paralympic Sport into the mainstream programme.

The big event in the Southern Hemisphere has a high number of international volunteers, with the largest showing from Canada with 13 people. More than half of the Canadian group has never visited New Zealand before and they are working in a variety of roles, ranging from timing to course preparation at the ski racing events. Many will in fact go on to work in important roles at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games.