NEW Zealand’s Paralympic bosses are targeting a haul of 18 medals from the London Paralympic Games, which start this week.
New Zealand is sending a team of 24 athletes, with New Zealand Chef de Mission Duane Kale and high performance director Mal Humm setting a 75 per cent hit rate.
Kale and Humm are prediction as many as 12 medals could be won in the aquatic centre, with the likes of 19-year-old Sophie Pascoe looking to back up on her haul of four from Beijing in 2008.
Rebecca Dubber, Cameron Leslie, Daniel Holt, Aine Kelly-Costello, Daniel Sharp, Mary Fisher and 13-year-old Nakita Howarth are also capable of getting on the podium in London.
“Our selection criteria was pretty black and white to be honest; it was put up a medal-winning performance here in London or put up a top six and be a medal prospect for Rio. We’ve got no tourists here,” Humm told APNZ.
“It’s a known fact that the bulk of our medals are likely to come from our swim team. We have a group of eight who are all top five in the world and swimming really well, so there is the expectation that the bulk will come from them, backed up by our bike team who are all in form and have competed well at the last world champs.
”I don’t think it’s any fluke we’re in the position we’re in now. We have a talent identification programme and development programme that’s seeing young athletes from the age of five, six and seven, and we’re targeting them for four to eight years down the track.”