Nikita’s ready to take the plunge

Bronze medalist Nikita Howarth of New Zealand competes at the Womens 50m Butterfly – S7 Final during day 5 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Waipā’s Nikita Howarth is at her third Paralympics – at just 22.

“The delayed Games hadn’t affected me much… just meant that we had to hold out to get here and get raring to go,” she told the News by Facebook from Tokyo.

The build-up had been around training in Covid conditions so they could be prepared for any hurdles.

The Te Awamutu Swim Club member was New Zealand’s youngest Paralympian at 13 when she swam at the 2012 London Games.

A year later the Cambridge resident, who was born with a bilateral upper limb deficiency, was crowned a world Para swimming champion.

At the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, she won gold in the women’s S7 200 metre individual medley and bronze in the women’s S7 50 metre butterfly.

In 2017 Howarth she traded in her swimming cap for a helmet and took to the bike, but after setting a new world mark over 200m in 2018, she has returned to the pool.

“For me my goal at these games is to give it all I’ve got and be happy with however it turns out.”

Fellow Waipā cyclists Anna Taylor and Eltje Malzbender are also in Tokyo.

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