Emotional Fortune holds on to European gold in Berlin

Yahoo Sport UK
Sabrina Fortune took gold on a triumphant night for Great Britain. Pic: Ben Booth Photography
Sabrina Fortune took gold on a triumphant night for Great Britain. Pic: Ben Booth Photography

From dreaming about winning gold to making it a reality, Sabrina Fortune had a mighty battle on her hands to keep emotions in check in Berlin.

Thankfully for the Welsh shot putter she just about held on, with a World Para Athletics European Championship gold medal her well-deserved prize.

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Not even Fortune herself expected to be flying high in Berlin but there was no luck involved for the F20 athlete, a starring performance seeing her break the Championship record with her very last throw.

But the 13.35 metres that flashed up on the scoreboard nearly wasn’t so for the 21-year-old, forced to hold her nerve and feelings to earn her place on the podium.

“It is amazing. I never thought I would get a gold medal here,” she said.

“The crowd was amazing and being a part of that field was an experience and a half.

“When I got the first throw out, I knew it was going to be far, and carrying it on, I wanted to cry at the halfway point.

“Last night I had a dream I would win gold. I’m so glad it came true.”

After a disappointing 2017 the emotion was certainly warranted for an athlete that has struggled with injuries and illness over the past 18 months.

But with European gold now in her armoury, the path to Tokyo 2020 and the next Paralympic Games suddenly doesn’t seem so distant for the Wrexham-based shot putter.

She’ll tread that path with a new mentality behind her too, reassessing just how she goes about entering each and every competition that comes her way.

“It was really nice to share the moment with my family who are out here, and I could see them all waving at the end,” added Fortune, who has speech dyspraxia which makes communication more difficult.

“I learnt at the World Championships that no matter how many times you fall down, you can get back up.

“There is always a chance to better yourself and you can learn from coming sixth to come first.

“You go into competitions always wanting gold but it doesn’t always work out like that, I go into now looking at the smaller parts and improvements rather than breaking world records every time.”

British Athletics works alongside UK Sport and the National Lottery to support the delivery of success at the world’s most significant sporting events, principally the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They do this via the funded initiative, the World Class Programme, one part of the British Athletics pathway.

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