Vanessa Low jumps into Tokyo Paralympics contention with record breaking performance

Vanessa Low has all but booked her ticket to the Tokyo Paralympic Games, unexpectedly breaking a second athletics world record in a matter of days.

The Paralympic long-jump champion made a switch back to the field at the Athletics ACT championships on Friday night, just four days after setting a world record in the T61 100 metres sprint.

German-born Paralympian Vanessa Low unofficially broke a long-jump world record on Friday. Picture: Natalie Hanna

German-born Paralympian Vanessa Low unofficially broke a long-jump world record on Friday. Picture: Natalie Hanna

The 29-year-old approached the event as a training session because she's spent the summer focusing on improving her strength and speed rather than her jump.

Low viewed her performance as an 'imperfect' jump, yet the length said otherwise.

She unofficially set a new world record in the T61-63 classification, jumping 5.16 metres to win the event.

The only problem is she won't get her name down in the record book because the jump can't be rectified without official doping testers at the event.

"We couldn't tick off the box because there was no doping control at the event," Low said. "I assumed there would be, considering it's an Olympic event, but for us Paralympians there's other boxes that need to be ticked as well.

"For me being a double amputee, there's such a thing as a maximum level of standing height. That needs to be checked which we didn't do, so we won't put the paperwork in to file it.

"However, it's really good to jump that well so early in the season. I was actually really surprised about how far I went, it's really promising.

"We're still figuring out technical stuff but jumping that far [on Friday] showed I'm really quick, those were imperfect jumps. I definitely have the basics and foundation to go really far later this year.

Vanessa Low is hoping to defend her long jump title at the Tokyo Paralymic Games. Picture: Karleen Minney.

Vanessa Low is hoping to defend her long jump title at the Tokyo Paralymic Games. Picture: Karleen Minney.

"It should give me selection for the Paralympic team, so that's really exciting having ticked off all the boxes with the qualifiers, being reigning world championing and knowing this is probably going to be the ticket of getting me to Tokyo."

Low's record-breaking streak has given her confidence ahead of her bid to defend her long-jump title in Tokyo.

The German-born athlete is preparing for her third Paralympics, but the Tokyo Games will be her first competing for Australia.

Low became an Australian citizen in 2018 and is married to fellow Paralympic champion Scott Reardon, who competes in the T42 classification 100 metre sprint.

Reardon finished first in the opens para-athletes division at the ACT championships with a time of 12.50 seconds.

I'm really happy to bring medals home to my country of choice - my new home country - and my husband and I are excited to do it together.

Paralympian Vanessa Low

"It's very exciting because you want to make your new country proud. I came here knowing I would have to start from scratch and work my way back up to being a high performing athlete," Low said.

"Now I've shown I'm capable of doing that. I'm really happy to bring medals home to my country of choice - my new home country - and my husband and I are excited to do it together.

"Every success is great if you get to share it. Being able to compete side-by-side, in the same uniform, celebrating and doing training camps together makes the experience so much better. It's a really great feeling and I'm honoured to be part of the Australian team which is probably one of the best in the world."

Low trains under the watchful eye of Iryna Dvoskina in Canberra but will spend the winter chasing warmer weather to prepare for Tokyo.

She'll focus on the domestic season for the next two months, before heading to the Gold Coast and Cairns to acclimatise to the humidity expected in Japan.

This story Low jumps into Tokyo contention in record time first appeared on The Canberra Times.