Olivia Breen crowned long jump world champion
Winning the T38 long jump gold medal at the World Para Athletics Championships was a dream come true for Olivia Breen.
The City of Portsmouth athlete has been working hard to land the big global title and she achieved it in style in London yesterday.
She jumped three times past her previous personal best of 4.70m throughout the six-round competition.
Her best effort was in the fourth at 4.81m, beating Erin Cleaver of Australia (4.61m) and Anna Trener-Wierciak of Poland (4.60m) who finished second and third respectively.
This result was Breen’s first individual major title on the world stage and continues her outstanding progress in the sport.
She said: ‘I am absolutely over the moon, I just can’t believe it. I knew I had it there, it’s taken me so long, and it’s a dream come true.
‘I’ve moved up to Loughborough to train and obviously leaving was a big thing but I wanted to do it and Aston Moore’s (Breen’s coach) support has been the best thing.
‘I’ve become a lot stronger as a person and more determined, it’s been an amazing move.’
A new training partner in Stef Reid, who has also won long jump gold in the T44 discipline at these championships, has been a huge help.
Breen added: ‘She’s been amazing and is always there for me, I’ve never trained with a Paralympian before so it has been a great move.
‘I wanna say a huge thank you to Stef and my coach Aston Moore who’s been amazing.’
The victory helped Great Britain continue to dominate the competition.
Breen’s success was the ninth gold and 16th medal for the team.
She will also be competing in the T38 100m on Saturday.
Every athlete that wins a medal at the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 will be provided with an additional medal to give to their coach.
It is a milestone first for the World Para Athletics Championships, arranged by organisers, in coordination with World Para Athletics.
Breen revealed that her extra medal will go to her coach Moore.
She said: ‘I will 100 per cent give mine to Aston Moore who’s been amazing and I wan to say a massive thank you.
‘My other coaches helped too but he’s the person and the one that got me here, and obviously my family and friends, and my boyfriend and my sponsors Adidas.’
While Breen was earning her gold medal, City of Portsmouth chairman Andrew Vincent was flying to the Commonwealth Youth Games in The Bahamas where club athletes Serena Vincent and Gaia Osborne will be competing for England.
The great success of Breen on the world stage certainly serves as fantastic inspiration to all at the club and the chairman was delighted to get the news of her gold medal.
He said: ‘I am so pleased for Olivia and proud she is a City of Portsmouth member.
‘She is a wonderful athlete and deserves her success.’