Coleg Y Cymoedd

Paralympic Gold medal for college alumni

19/09/2016
Coleg Y Cymoedd

A former college learner has achieved her dream of winning Paralympic gold in javelin at the games in Rio.

Hollie Arnold threw a world record 43.01m to win Paralympic gold in the F46 javelin final.

Hollie is a former learner at the Ystrad Mynach campus of Coleg y Cymoedd, where she studied Sport Development.

Hollie and her family moved to South Wales to enable her to access coaching and take advantage of the high quality sports development opportunities available in Wales.

The 22-year-old, who lives and trains in Cardiff, broke the world record with a throw of 41.68m but broke it again in her final throw to win gold.

Arnold beat New Zealander Holly Robinson and Poland's Katarzyna Piekart who won silver and bronze respectively.

"This has been my absolute dream - I cannot believe I am Paralympic champion and double world champion. It is so surreal," Arnold told Channel 4.

"I've been injured for two months but coming here has been as clean slate and I just went out there with nothing to lose.

"I actually thought I had one more throw! When my coach told me I had won gold I just burst into tears. I didn't expect to break the world record by that much."

Hollie first became interested in javelin at the age of ten, after seeing her older brother throw.  Determined to have a go herself, she picked up the javelin and discovered she had a talent for the sport; she was the youngest ever track and field athlete when she competed in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, aged just 14 years.

Her skills and determination, as well as the support of her family, have seen her win an impressive array of awards; including discus and shot putt.

Staff at the college were delighted with Hollie’s news; Hollie’s personality and dedication had left them with no doubt that this talented young athlete would go far.

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