By Owen Morgan
Olivia Breen has launched the Welsh challenge at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai with a hard-earned bronze medal in the long jump.
The 23-year-old produced a leap of 4.93m in the T38 classification to finish third behind Luka Ekler of Hungary, who won the gold in a championship record of 5.30m.
Breen, who went into the competition as the reigning champion, produced one of the most consistent series of her career, recording her longest jump in the third round.
Leaping into strong headwinds, the Commonwealth champion followed up with 4.84m and 4.83m in rounds four and five and ended her series with 4.76m.
“I’m really happy,” said Breen afterwards. “It was great to have such a good competition.
“I just gave it my all. The wind was very frustrating but I did the best I could in those conditions. There is nothing we could do so I just went for it.
“I couldn’t believe how consistent my series was. I don’t often have that. But my training has been going so well, so I’m really pleased with how I performed.
“I came into this competition ranked third, so it means a lot to win the bronze medal. All the hard work has paid off.”
Breen has now set her sights to the 100m, the discipline which saw her win a bronze medal for Wales at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
“I now need to get ready for the 100m, I’m so excited for that,” she said. “I’m hoping for a medal but whatever happens, happens.”
Sunday sees three of Breen’s fellow Welsh athletes enter the fray at the Dubai Championships, where the Great Britain team has won four medals so far.
Kyron Duke leads the way at 06.44 UK time when he takes part in the final of the Men’s F41 Shot Put Final.
The evening session sees reigning world champion Aled Davies competing in the men’s F63 at 16.08, while Neath’s Harri Jenkins goes in the men’s 100m T33 final at 16.27.
You can follow all the action from Dubai via the Channel 4 Paralympics website: https://paralympics.channel4.com