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Joynt Wins A Dramatic Bronze To Provide Rousing Climax To Kobe Challenge

Published: Sun 26 May 2024 02:03 PM
Mitch Joynt. Credit: Augusto Bizzi
Mitch Joynt capped a momentous 2024 Para Athletics World Championships for the New Zealand by winning a dramatic bronze medal in the men’s 200m T64 courtesy of an Oceania record of 23.15.
The 29-year-old Auckland sprinter had originally finished fourth – just 0.02 down on the medal podium – but was upgraded to bronze following the disqualification of Italian Francesco Loragno, who had crossed the line first, for a lane infringement.
Joynt’s upgrade to a second successive Para World 200m T64 bronze medal ensured the New Zealand team finished with an incredible total of eight medals – two gold, four silver and two bronze – from their five-strong team. A performance which offers real optimism going into the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games.
The men’s 200m T64 was slated as the final track final on the nine-day programme and did not disappoint. Loragno established an early advantage with Wallison Andrew Fortes of Brazil also prominent. Enterning the home straight Joynt was almost plum last, however, unleashing his trademark late charge he surged into medal contention in the final strides.
As Loragno finished first in 23.03 (0.7), Fortes fell as he crossed the line in silver in 23.11 – 0.02 ahead of Japan’s Kengo Oshima, who set a PB. In a desperately tight finish, Joynt initially placed fourth – trimming 0.16 from this Oceania record. However, while fourth in a lifetime best was a great performance the situation was to get even better for the Kiwi following the disqualification of Loragno and he was upgraded to a podium position.
Joynt said: “I’m really happy with the time. It is obviously nice to win another global medal but I’m always in competition with myself and I’ve never run a faster race.
“Just like in Paris last year I was pretty much dead last coming off the bend, so I had them exactly where I wanted them. I’ve always been known as a slow starter and that gets highlighted even more on the world stage, but I’m also known as a really strong finisher and that has never been shown more than in this final.
“Being within 0.04 of gold does sting a bit but it does show how close I am to the top guys. We were missing a couple of leading names here, but I think the bronze medal in Paris is wide open and I just proved that I can be one of the three or four guys going for it.”
New Zealand finished joint 18th in the medal table, bettering the performance of nations such as France, Italy and Australia.New Zealand medals at the 2024 Para Athletics World Championships
Gold
Danielle Aitchison – Women’s 200m T36 World Record
Will Stedman – Men’s 400m T36 – National Record
Silver
Holly Robinson – Women’s shot F46 – Oceania Record
Will Stedman – Men’s long jump T36 – Oceania Record
Anna Grimaldi – Women’s long jump T47
Danielle Aitchison – Women’s 100m T36
Bronze
Anna Grimaldi – Women’s 100m T47
Mitch Joynt – Men’s 200m T64 – Oceania Record

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