Canberra, Australia; 26 January 2024 – Reigning Paralympic champion Vanessa Low has made a resounding entrance into the Games year, with a world best leap in the Long Jump T61 at the ACT Open and Under 20 Championships in Canberra tonight.
The German-born athlete took out the field with a jump of 5.33m (0.0), adding five centimetres to her own world record set at the Tokyo Paralympic Games in September of 2021. For a performance to be recognised as a world record, the meet and athlete must fulfill specific criteria set out by World Para Athletics, with this yet to be determined in Canberra.
Low’s performance is not just a victory at her local championships but a proclamation of intent as she builds towards the Paris Games, where the double-leg amputee will aim for a historic third consecutive gold medal.
“There were a couple of really good jumps out there, but there is a lot I still left out on the track,” Low said.
“We’re still building on the consistency on the runway to ensure that even the average jumps are like this as the season progresses, but the confidence is coming in and it’s nice to know that we’ll be able to go big in Paris.”
The mark is extra significant as she builds on her bronze medal performance from the World Para Athletics Championships in July last year; a feat she achieved less than a year after giving birth to her son, Matteo.
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“It’s everything we have been working on in the last year and a half since coming back from pregnancy,” Low said.
“There is still room for improvement. I carried great speed through that particular jump in comparison to the other ones, but it’s all about the confidence in my run ups and I know I’m on the right mark to really go for it next time and carry that speed all the way through.”
Low will resume training towards Paris 2024 under the tutelage of her coach and husband, Paralympic gold medalist Scott Reardon.
In other results from the ACT Championships tonight, 18-year-old Peyton Craig rewrote the record books, surpassing Paul Byrne’s Australian Under 20 800m record, with a performance of 1:45.77. The record is pending ratification.
The ACT Open and Under 20 Championships continue tomorrow through to Sunday, as some of the nation’s top athletes converge on the track at the Australian Institute of Sport. The meet is hosted by Capital Athletics, with additional information to be found here.
Stay up to date with the results of Australia’s high performance track and field athletes at www.athletics.com.au.
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