Sabrina Fortune retains her World Title
Sabrina Fortune (coach: Ryan Spencer-Jones / Ian Robinson, Deeside) became the latest Brit to win back-to-back World Para Athletics Championships titles in Paris last night.
Fortune broke the 14-metre barrier in the women’s F20 shot put for just the second time in her career as a huge Championship record 14.01m effort in the third round in the French capital secured her an impressive gold, and the retaining of the World Championship title she won for the first time four years ago in Dubai.
“It was an incredible experience. I can’t put into words how hard and how happy I truly am right now. It’s not a personal best but you know what, having that title back is the biggest thing. I’ve had a couple of bad years when I felt my sport wasn’t going well and this just proves that no matter how hard you fall you can still stand back up tall.
“I’ve really struggled all week in training where I’ve just been too hot. I struggle in heat with my asthma, so [the competition] was hard but I knew I had to get past it. I stayed in the shade, put ice towels around my shoulders – anything just to keep my body cold enough.”
Back on the world stage with fond memories of her 2019 gold, and nearly two years since finishing fifth at the Tokyo Paralympics, Fortune meant business and it showed with an impressive first three attempts.
Opening up with 12.82m effort that placed her second after Ecuadorian Poleth Mendes threw 13.60m first time, Fortune then never looked back as a 13.64m registering in the second round gave her a lead she wouldn’t relinquish, and actually go on to improve.
The third round saw Fortune blast out to a Championship record 14.01m, breaking the 14-metre barrier for just the second time in her rapidly growing career and bettering her own mark for the global event set on the way to that gold in 2019.
With gold effectively secured, she kept going to record 12.49m in round four and a very good 13.72m in round five. The only blot on the series was a fifth-round foul and, after retaining her World Championship title with her second best performance ever, Fortune was, unsurprisingly, delighted. She added:
“Before the competition I was really nervous. I was so scared because I didn’t want to lose that title. But training had been going so well I knew I had to trust myself and give everything. To hear I got a new Championship record, I was over the moon. Although it’s not a personal best it’s still incredible, so I’m really, really happy.
“I have to truly trust that I can do it now, I know I can hit so much further, I know I can hit the world record. I’ve just hit 14m which is a barrier I’ve been trying to hit for months and months, so the Paralympics in 2024, what’s to come? Well, I want to find out; hopefully it will be something good.”
Fortune now has her eyes set firmly on the 2024 Paralympic Games.