Aussie breaks world record three times on incredible night Vanessa Low won gold in the long jump. Picture: Getty Images


She once competed for Germany, but Vanessa Low well and truly won Aussie hearts after her stunning gold medal-winning performance in the long jump in Tokyo.

Naturalised Aussie Vanessa Low broke the world record three times in just over one hour to win the gold medal in the long jump at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Even by her standards, it was an extraordinary performance from the 31-year-old, who was born and competed for Germany before switching nationalities when she married Australian Paralympic sprinter Scott Reardon.

“This is a very special one. I know Rio was my first gold but being able to do this experience alongside my husband and being able to do it on the day with Scott by my side, having a familiar face in the crowd, was so special and I am so very grateful for this opportunity,” Low told Channel 7.

“When we first met each other we immediately had that emotional connection and I think that is something very rare to find. We really support each other through the bad and the good.

“Having him by my side and having the ability to feed off each other’s energy is so amazing and I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him.”

Reardon was watching from the stands and greeted his wife with a hug after she won.

“There’s no words actually,” Reardon said.

“She’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 already held the world record at 5.07m for Class 61, and had won the gold medal at the last Paralympics in Rio while representing her birth land, but on a wet night at the Tokyo Olympic stadium she just kept leaping further and further.

A double above the knee amputee after being hit by a train when she was a teenager, she broke the record on her second jump when the tape measured 5.16m.

Then she broke it again on her fifth jump, soaring 5.20m, before touching the sand.

Assured of the gold before her final leap, she managed to break it again, jumping 5.28m to secure Australia’s 17th gold medal in Japan and third in athletics.

“If people randomly met me in the street they would never think to themselves she’s been given this incredible opportunity,” Low said.

“But somehow when they see me on top of a podium competing here in front of a world stage, all of a sudden people can sense the empowerment we are giving ourselves over whatever has happened to us and that’s something that is so special about the Paralympic Games.”

Originally published as Tokyo Paralympics 2021: Australian Vanessa Low wins gold in long jump