DUBAI – Jennifer Brown entered the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships ranked fourth in the world, but now she wants to reach the next level. In order to achieve that goal, she decided this season to make an important technique change in her discus event.
She aced her first test with the new technique this past August as she won the gold medal at the Parapan American Games in Lima. Her second test is the world championships.
On Tuesday, Brown achieved her personal best goal with a 31.55 metre toss at the worlds for sixth spot, just 0.3 cm from fifth. That equalled her result from Rio 2016 and bettered her seventh place from the 2017 worlds.
‘’After Rio we made a conscious decision to take apart my technique and rebuild it,’’ said Brown prior to her event in Dubai. She is coached by Kim Cousins at the Calgary Track and Field Club. ‘’So, this has been a building year and we really have invested the time in getting that right.
‘’Now I’m seeing progress and I’m excited.’’
Describing her technique change, the 39-year-old Brown, who has muscular dystrophy, went from a half spin where she faced the landing area and then spun on her right leg to adding another half spin where she spins over her left leg onto her right leg and through the front.
‘’It’s a pretty significant technical change and it’s taken a long time and lot of repetition for it to start to settle,’’ she said. ‘’But we think that’ll really give me a fighting chance. Before we were fighting for top-six [at worlds, Paralympics] and once this comes through, we’ll really be going for whatever a personal best looks like.’’
With her MS condition, the heat in Dubai did raise concerns for Brown but she is well prepared.
‘’I have cooling vests, cooling towels so I do a lot of precooling before I come out. Heat is real so it can affect your performance.’’
But nothing would be cooler for Brown than to see improved results from the technique change by Tokyo 2020.
The World Para Athletics Championships are the largest Para sport event to be held before the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and run from November 7 to 15 in Dubai. More than 1,400 athletes from almost 120 nations are competing.
Viewers will be able to follow the action via the free CBC Gem streaming service, cbcsports.ca, the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices, and CPC Facebook page, as well as the Radio-Canada Sports app and radio-canada.ca/sports.
For the broadcast schedule, please visit Paralympic.ca/Paralympic-Super-Series.