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Dunedin Paralympic long jumper Anna Grimaldi soaring towards Tokyo

Dunedin Paralympic long jumper Anna Grimaldi has a spring in her step, is in career best form, and is jumping straight towards Tokyo.

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A serious injury nearly ruined Anna Grimaldi's career, but now she is back and better than ever. Source: 1 Sport

It may seem no surprise that the 2016 gold medalist is dominating the sport, but it all could have been so different.

A navicular stress fracture not long after Rio led to six months of rehab and two and a half years without a jump.

"It could have been easy to just say no, no, this is just way too hard," Grimaldi told 1 NEWS.

"I was lying face down on the floor doing glute exercises or walking in a straight line to try and get my foot to work and I just sort of thought, this isn't what I want to be doing right now."

Persistence though, paid off and now the distances she is jumping are putting everyone on notice.

"At the nationals her worst jump was a gold medal in Rio," coach Brent Ward said.

"The others were third best jumps ever."

Grimaldi's 5.91m jump in February ranks her second overall in New Zealand, able-bodied athletes included, and just ten centimetres off a para world record.

With four months of training still to come, that record could soon need to be rewritten.