Shepparton News

Golden aim for Low

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As a track and field athlete, Vanessa Low did not expect concussion to be the injury that almost derailed her third Paralympic­s campaign.

Low, who won gold at the Rio Paralympic­s in the T42 long jump and 100m sprint, fell during a bathroom visit and suffered a serious head knock.

The para long jump world champion, who lost both legs as a teenager when she fell from a train platform, was confined to bed rest for two weeks and three months on is still dealing with weekly headaches.

‘‘A concussion is something that I’ve never had before, not playing in a contact sport, and I underestim­ated the impact that it would have on me,’’ Low said.

‘‘I do all these things in training like a jump in the pit coming from top speed and nothing ever happens and then go to the bathroom at night and slip. It was a bit of a shock to be honest and it took a couple of weeks to get back into training. I think all up it probably impacted me for maybe six weeks.

‘‘I’m still having some of the impacts staying around now, but I now know how to deal with it and I have strategies in place for some of the symptoms and triggers.’’

Setting a personal best of 5.32m this year, in what would have been a world record if ratified, Low will go into the T61 long jump as the gold medal favourite.

A change in disability categories means Low can’t defend her Paralympic 100m sprint title.

In another change in the five years since Rio, 31-year-old Low has switched allegiance from her birth country of Germany to Australia after marrying Paralympic sprinter Scott Reardon.

 ?? Picture: EPA/Ali Haider ?? Adopted country: Vanessa Low of Australia in action.
Picture: EPA/Ali Haider Adopted country: Vanessa Low of Australia in action.

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