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Miriam Jenkins (born February 10, 1986) is a former New Zealand athlete. She was the 2009 ITU Paratriathlon World Champion in TRI3 classification. In addition, she represented New Zealand at the 2004 Summer Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece, in swimming, as well as at the 2005 CP-ISRA World Championships - in both swimming and track & field. Jenkins is affected by mild cerebral palsy in her left side.
Jenkins began her swimming career in 2000 at the New Zealand College Games. in her hometown of Hamilton, New Zealand, where she won eight gold medals and set several national junior records. At the 2001 Paralympics New Zealand Championships she won seven gold and five silver medals in swimming and won the Halberg Trust junior scholarship prize. Jenkins was named to her first national team in 2002, competing at the British Open in Sheffield, England and the USA Swimming National Disability Championships. In 2003 she won medals at the ISMWSF World Wheelchair and Amputee Games, and early the following year was named to New Zealand's Paralympic Team.
In Athens, Jenkins fared poorly, placing sixth in her heat of the S9 women's 400m freestyle and failing to qualify for the final, which was eventually won by South Africa's Natalie du Toit. She received a New Zealand University Blue award, one of only two Paralympians to do so, in 2004 while she was a student at the University of Waikato.
The following year, she won titles at the CP-ISRA World Championships in New London, Connecticut in the 100m freestyle, 400m freestyle and 200m individual medley, as well as the 800m track race. Additionally Jenkins earned silvers in the 50m freestyle and 100m backstroke, and the 400m track event. Until the end of 2005, Jenkins was supported by the now-defunct Peter Snell Institute of Sport. She still holds eight national senior records in swimming, as well as twelve junior records, eleven short-course records, and four track records.
Jenkins was named as a member of New Zealand's first-ever Paratriathlon team for the 2009 ITU Triathlon World Championships Grand Final in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. On September 9th she competed in the age-group event in the Aquathlon, and followed this with a victory three days later in the standard distance Paratriathlon race. Jenkins was the sole gold medallist on the New Zealand standard distance team (including elite), the only other gold being won by sprint distance age-group athlete, Maddie Dillon.
In December 2009, she was named Waikato Sportswoman of the Year, and was later nominated for a Halberg award, as well as for the "Performance of the Year" award at the Triathlon New Zealand 2010 Awards.
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