'No words': Aussie athlete's incredible moment lights up Paralympics

·3-min read
Australia's Vanessa Low broke her own world record three times to win long jump gold at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Australia's Vanessa Low shattered her own long jump record three times on her way to gold at the Tokyo Paralympics. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Australian long-jumper Vanessa Low has broken her own world record three times in a row to claim the gold medal in the T63 long jump at the Tokyo Paralympics.

The 31-year-old naturalised Australian was competing with husband and fellow Paralympian Scott Reardon in the stands cheering her on, five years after she won gold for Germany at the Rio Games.

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In six total attempts, Low broke her world record first with a jump of 5.16m, then followed it up with a 5.20m, and finally smashing the benchmark once more with a 5.28m leap.

Impressively, Low overcame ongoing symptoms from a serious concussion she sustained after a fall at home three months ago, which left her bed-ridden for two weeks.

Even in Tokyo, Low was battling weekly headaches as a result of the accident.

But as she has done for the rest of her career, Low found a way to overcome - and excel.

She lost her legs as a teenager in Germany when she fell from a platform and was run over by a train.

"If people randomly meet me on the street, they'd never think to themselves 'she's been given an incredible opportunity'," Low said.

"But somehow when they see me on top of the podium, competing here on the world stage, all of a sudden they can sense an empowerment over whatever has happened to us.

"That is something that's so special about the Paralympic Games."

Paralympic champion Vanessa Low thrilled to share 'special' gold

Low was thrilled to have Reardon on hand for her Tokyo triumph, particularly after the pair both won gold for Australia and Germany respectively at the prior Rio Games.

She said having him there in the stands made this the most special achievement.

"When we first met each other, we immediately had an emotional connection - that's something very rare to find," Low told Channel Seven.

"We really support each other, the bad and the good.

"Having him by my side and having the ability to feed off each other's energy, it's so amazing - I wouldn't be here without him."

For his part, Reardon was equally thrilled to be there to witness his wife's finest moment.

Low was already assured of gold before her final, record breaking leap.

β€œThere’s no words actually,” Reardon said.

β€œShe’s competed at Worlds for Australia but to see her in Australian colours at the Paralympic Games and seeing her so calm and collected doing what she does best, I’m proud.”

Low's gold was Australia's 17th of the Tokyo Paralympics, and the third in track and field events.

With AAP

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