Zoe Hobbs becomes first sprinter from New Zealand to qualify for an Olympics in 50 years
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Zoe Hobbs has become the first female sprinter from New Zealand to qualify for an Olympic Games in 50 years.
For the first time in half a century, New Zealand will have a representative sprinter at a Games, the last to do being Sue Jowett at the 1976 Amsterdam Olympics.
Now Hobbs has secured her spot on New Zealand's team and will proudly walk out alongside her fellow compatriots at the opening ceremony in Paris 2024.
The 26-year-old has been in incredible form this year.
In the opening meet of her European season, Hobbs finished with a time of 11.20 seconds at the Lausanne Diamond League.
And at the World Athletics Continental Tour Challenger in Switzerland, she performed even better – stopping the clock at 10.96 seconds.
This rapid time not only saw her win the race, but also shatter the national record.
But perhaps the best outcome was that Hobbs' lightning-fast time saw her earn automatic qualification for the Olympics.
Incredibly, she will be the first Kiwi sprinter in 50 years to represent her nation on the world stage at an Olympics.
What a special moment.
"When I saw the time come up I couldn't believe it. I didn't think I would run that time, especially given the conditions. It was 15 degrees at the time of that race with a 20-minute delay leading into the start. The wind was all over the shop with head and tail winds.
"I'm absolutely stoked to have done the qualifier time early. It takes a massive weight off my shoulders and makes a big difference leading into the rest of the season. I don't have to chase the time now. I can focus on what I need to in the lead up to the World Champs."
Hobbs is now preparing for the World Track and Field Championships in Budapest in August before heading over to Paris for next year's Games.