BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2019: Hollie Arnold profile

Hollie Arnold has now won four consecutive world titles in the women's F46 javelin
Hollie Arnold has now won four consecutive world titles in the women's F46 javelin
BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year award 2019
Venue: Celtic Manor Resort, Newport Date: Tuesday, 10 December
Coverage: Results and updates on BBC Wales Today, the BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru

Hollie Arnold won her fourth consecutive javelin world title at the 2019 World Para-Athletics Championships in Dubai, UAE, in November.

Arnold set a new championship and European record throw of 44.73m to defend her women's javelin F46 title.

The 25-year-old was pushed all the way by New Zealand's Holly Robinson, who had broken Arnold's world record the previous April with a throw of 45.73m.

Arnold began with throws of 40.87m and 40.45m, which allowed Robinson to move into gold-medal position with her second-round throw of 41.60m.

But Arnold responded with that huge, winning throw in the third round, raising her personal best by 30 centimetres.

Although her New Zealand rival tried to respond, Robinson's next three efforts never came close to retaking the lead and Arnold was crowned the best in the world once again.

Hollie Arnold is the reigning world, Olympic, Commonwealth and European champion
Hollie Arnold is the reigning world, Olympic, Commonwealth and European champion

Arnold, who was born without her right forearm, was introduced to the javelin after attending Star Track in Cleethorpes, an event that encouraged children to experience all the track and field athletics disciplines.

The then 10-year-old saw older brother Ashley trying out the javelin and asked to have a go, found she had an aptitude for the event and subsequently joined Cleethorpes Athletics Club to train regularly - also competing in discus and shot put at junior world level.

But it was javelin where Arnold excelled and her progression was remarkable, so much so that at the age of 14 years and 74 days she was the youngest member of the Great Britain athletics team at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, finishing 11th in the F42-46 women's javelin.

The next two years saw some big changes, with Arnold's family moving from their Grimsby home in north Lincolnshire to settle in south Wales, allowing her to train at the Sport Wales National Centre and Cardiff Metropolitan University.

In 2009 she won her first significant medals, winning silver in the F46 discus and bronze in the F46 javelin at the IWAS World Junior Games in Switzerland.

That was the last year Arnold competed at a championships in discus, as she opted to concentrate fully on the javelin.

But this period also saw Arnold suffer injuries including a badly-strained shoulder and a stress fracture to her back that hampered her progression.

In 2010 she took silver at the World Junior Games and improved that result the following year to win F37/40/46 gold in the Games held in Dubai - where she would return eight years later to claim her fourth senior world title.

The same year saw Arnold step up to represent Great Britain at senior level at the 2011 Para-Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, where she made an immediate impact by winning the bronze medal in the F46 javelin.

Another medal followed in 2012 as she finished second at the European Games in Stadskanaal, the Netherlands, while she was selected for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where she finished fifth.

It seemed only a matter of time until Arnold claimed a senior title and it duly followed in 2013 when she topped the podium at the World Para-Athletics Championships in Lyon, France, a result she would repeat two years later with her second world gold in Doha, Qatar.

With two world titles under her belt Arnold entered the 2016 Rio Paralympics as the favourite and capped her rise to sporting prominence by winning F46 javelin gold in her third Games.

Arnold first set a new world record, then broke it with her final throw of 43.01m to take the title in emphatic style. She was unbeatable in 2016 and won all her competitions that year.

She was named Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [MBE] in the 2017 New Year's Honours list, while she again triumphed in London with the World Para-Athletics Championships being held in Britain that year as she secured her third successive world gold.

At the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast, Arnold claimed gold for Wales with a world record throw of 44.43m. She then added European F46 javelin gold to complete the full set of titles - world, Paralympic, Commonwealth and European - breaking the championship record three times on her way to victory.

After continuing her dominance this year, Arnold has her sights set on retaining her Olympic title at Tokyo 2020 and reclaiming the world record from Robinson.

Voting for BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2019 opened at 07:30 GMT on Monday, 2 December and closed at 18:00 GMT on Sunday, 8 December.

Full voting terms and conditions are available on the BBC website here and will also be carried on radio and television.

The winner will be unveiled on Tuesday, 10 December.

This event is not connected with the UK Sports Personality of the Year and is for the Wales award only.

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