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Regional NSW athletes soar at Rio Olympics

More than 170 athletes made up our incredible Paralympic team, who performed exceptionally well at the recent Paralympics in Rio.

The team came away with 81 medals – 22 gold, 30 silver and 29 bronze – ranking fifth overall. But it was the 13 standout athletes hailing from Nats country that proved regional NSW has talent in spades. 

Gold medal winners from regional NSW included Scott Reardon from Temora who broke the Paralympic record time of 12.26 seconds in the men’s 100m T42 race; 20 year old, James Turner from Diamond Head in the men’s 800m T36 race; Bill Lathan from Coffs Harbour claimed gold in wheelchair basketball; and Ryley Batt and Cameron Carr from Port Macquarie who were victorious in wheelchair rugby for the second time after winning the title four years ago in London. 

Born and bred in Cowra, Kurt Fearnley was no stranger to the Paralympics after competing at Athens, Sydney, Beijing and London, and this time is coming home with a silver in the wheelchair marathon and a bronze in the men’s 5000m T53/54 wheelchair race.

Bill Chaffey, a Tweed Heads local who originally hails from Tamworth, narrowly missed out on a medal placing fourth overall in the men’s triathlon.

Josh Alford from Cooma, Kate Wilson from Kingscliff, Paige Leonhardt from Port Macquarie and Michael Anderson from Bellingen all spent time in the pool as part of our intimidatingly talented swim team. Other honourable mentions must go to Erin Cleaver, 100m sprinter from Tamworth and Lisa Martin from Scone who competed in equestrian.

The NSW Nationals would like to congratulate all athletes on their incredible efforts and sportsmanship at the Rio games – we cannot wait to see what you achieve at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

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