Scotland’s Stef Reid wins gold at World Para Championships

Stef Reid rises high in the Women's Long Jump T44 Final at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships at London Stadium. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Stef Reid rises high in the Women's Long Jump T44 Final at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships at London Stadium. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
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Scotland’s Stef Reid was overjoyed to shed her serial silver status with T44 women’s long jump gold on day two of the World Para Athletics Championships in London.

The 32-year-old, who won Paralympic silver in 2012 and 2016, leapt to a best of 5.40 metres to take her first major global championships title.

Stef Reid celebrates winning gold in the T44 women's long jump at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships at London Stadium. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Stef Reid celebrates winning gold in the T44 women's long jump at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships at London Stadium. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

“There’s that part of your brain where you think, ‘Gosh, I don’t want to be the silver girl forever’,” Reid said.

“And you have all sorts of questions that go through your head.

“You’ve just got to be tough, as a person that keeps on coming back, keeps on trying.

“I started in 2006, it’s now 2017 and I am finally in the middle of the podium. That’s what it takes sometimes.”

Reid, who won the European title in Swansea in 2014, felt the energy from the partisan crowd.

She added: “I was actually really, really nervous and then it was not till I walked out I felt like, ‘Ah, I’m kind of at home’.

“I did my run through and the crowd went wild. I was like, ‘Guys, it’s just the warm-up, save it’.

“And they were louder when I actually went. It really is a huge privilege.”

Reid, who says victory vindicated her decision to opt for athletics over studying medicine 11 years ago, is committed to going to a fourth Paralympics in Tokyo in three years’ time.

“I’d be really disappointed to not do Tokyo,” Reid added.

“I’ve had such a good time with Aston Moore over the last two years. He’s the kind of coach I think, ‘Oh, gosh, I wish I’d met you when I was 16’.

“He still has a lot to teach me. And I’m still having so much fun. I’m not ready to walk away from this yet.”

Marlene van Ganswewinkel, the Rio bronze medallist, claimed silver with a best, in the fourth round, of 5.29m.

And when the Dutchwoman failed to improve on Reid’s best in the last round, the Briton knew she was assured of victory before her final leap. Japan’s Maya Nakanishi was third.

“It’s so nerve-racking. Part of you is thinking, ‘Oh, please don’t jump farther than me’,” Reid said.

“And then part of me is actually craving, ‘I kind of want to know what I’m made of, what will happen if she does that. Can I come through?’

“(But) there was a sigh of relief and it was really nice just to take that last jump and enjoy it.”

Paralympic gold medallist and 2015 world champion Marie-Amelie le Fur of France was absent.

Reid added: “You always want to compete with the world’s best, because it brings out the best in you. But at the same time I can’t beat an imaginary person.”

Reid’s win was Britain’s second gold after wheelchair Hannah Cockroft’s T34 100m win on Friday night.

Further podium success for the hosts is likely on Saturday evening.

Kadeena Cox, the first Briton to win gold medals in two sports at the same Paralympics for 32 years, and Sophie Hahn line up in the T38 200m final.

Richard Whitehead competes in the T42 200m he won at both London 2012 and Rio 2016.

And Hollie Arnold, who won F46 javelin gold in Brazil, will bid to add the world title.