21/04/2024
Vanessa Low

Vanessa Low broke the World Record three times on her way to securing Gold in the Women's Long Jump T63. Image: Para-Athletics/Twitter

Vanessa Low bettered her own T61 World Record three times on her way to winning Gold in the Women's T63 Long Jump.

Australian Vanessa Low won Gold in the Women’s Long Jump T63, setting a new T61 World Record three times on her way to another Paralympic gold medal.

At the Rio Games, Low was competing for her country of birth, Germany, where she became Paralympic champion in the T42 Long Jump. She began competing for Australia in 2019 and competed at the World Championships in the green and gold, however, the 2020 Paralympics presented a special opportunity to represent her new nation.

Low, classed a T61 athlete in Tokyo, was competing in the Long Jump final with T42 and T63 athletes in a combined event. Going into it, she held the T61 World Record with a distance of 5.07 set in Australia in early 2020.

In Tokyo, Low improved her lead on her fifth and sixth attempts to secure the top place on the podium.

Low started out with a steady first jump, making 4.48m on her opening attempt. She found her groove though, as her second jump improved on this and broke her World Record for the first time – jumping 5.16m.

While she was in front, Low looked to continue pushing ahead of the other competitors. However, her third and fourth attempts were short of her new World Record.

Lining up for her fifth jump, Low steamed in to the sand-pit that looked more like a mud-pit after Tokyo’s rain, and hit a new World Record of 5.20m.

Already ahead of the pack, Low’s extraordinary night only got better. She smashed her World Record again, with a 5.28m jump on her final attempt.

In the end, Low beat her previous record by 21cm to win Gold in the Women’s Long Jump T63.

Low has said she plans to retire from Para Athletics after the Tokyo 2020 Games.

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T63 athletes, Martina Caironi of Italy and Elena Kratter of Switzerland won Silver and Bronze respectively. Caironi’s best jump was 5.14m, which she made on her fifth attempt. Kratter broke the 5m mark as well, jumping 5.01 – a personal best – on her fifth jump to secure Bronze.

An incredibly successful night for Australia at the Paralympics, with Low’s medal Australia’s fourth Gold for the evening.

The three other gold medals came in the pool, where Will Martin won the Men’s 100m Butterfly S9, Benjamin Hance became Paralympic champion in the Men’s 100m Backstroke S14 and Rachael Watson won the Women’s 50m Butterfly S4.

Australia now has 17 Paralympic gold medals and 65 medals in total.

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