Ipswich and District Athletics Club thrower Claire Keefer won a bronze medal at the Paralympics in Rio.
Ipswich and District Athletics Club thrower Claire Keefer won a bronze medal at the Paralympics in Rio. Chris Lees

Withcott athlete takes bronze in shotput at Rio

A HUGE personal best of 8.16m was enough for Ipswich and District Athletics Club competitor Claire Keefer to win bronze in the F41 shotput at the Paralympics.

The effort was half a metre better than anything Keefer had thrown before.

"I came in wanting to throw over eight metres, and If I didn't get it I would've been upset but it would've been ok, it's my first Paralympics," she said.

Keefer said before the competition she thought a medal would be out of reach. "But I surprised and now I have one in my hands, first Paralympics and first Paralympic bronze medal," she said.

"I'll see what I can do in four years time."

Keefer was in second position early on but lost to Tunisians Raoua Tlili and Samar Ben Koelleb.

"I was a little nervous going in but I feed off the crowd, and then it got a little noisy when a lot of Brazilians come out, so I lost it a bit in the third round," she said.

The Withcott-based athlete said the result meant everything to her.

"It's hard to describe (the feeling), I can now say I am a Paralympic medalist," Keefer said.

Keefer said the support from everybody back home had been overwhelming.

"I switched off from social media the last two days but I'll turn my phone back and reply to all the support back home and call my coach," she said.

The Paralympics are not over for Keefer who will compete in the discus on Friday (Queensland time).


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