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Northern Iowa's Jessica Heims fifth at Tokyo Paralympic Games
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Northern Iowa's Jessica Heims fifth at Tokyo Paralympic Games


TOKYO – Northern Iowa alumnus Jessica Heims took fifth in the f64/44 discus classification at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic games Saturday.

Heims, a native of Swisher, twice broke the North American record during the competition with a best throw of 34.89 meters on her fifth attempt.  She also broke the record with a throw of 34.42 with her second toss.

This was the second time the recent graduate had participated in the Paralympic games. She was eighth as a 17-year old in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

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Heims, who is f64 thrower, finished behind four f44 classification throwers.

Juan Yao of China won with a toss of 44.73 meters. Yue Yang of China earned silver and Sarah Edmiston of Australia was the bronze medalist. Ida Nesse of Norway was fourth.

In a release, the 22-year old Heims said, “I’ve had so much energy expelled just from being here in the stadium this morning. I’m ready to sit down and just cheer on my teammates for the rest of the week.”

In the same release, she added that the experience in Tokyo has been nothing but positive, even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s been so amazing and humbling,” she said. “After last year I didn’t think we would even be here, so being in this country I’m trying to get my gratitude back to the hosts. It’s been great, it’s been a blessing.”

UNI teammate Erin Kerkhoff competes Tuesday in the T13 100 and then again on Sept. 2 in the T13 400.


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Sports Reporter

I’m a Waterloo native who has covered Cedar Valley sports for more than 30 years for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. I’m also a big Cincinnati Reds fan … Go Big Red Machine!

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