Vanessa Wallace takes home shot put bronze at World Para Athletics Championships
PUBLISHED: 11:00 25 November 2019
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University of East London high performance athletics scholar Vanessa Wallace won her first world championship medal in the F34 shot put at the World Para Athletics Championships.
Wallace won bronze on November 12 at the competition held in Dubai having taken up the sport in late 2014 and also competed at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio just 18 months later, finishing fifth.
She trains with Enfield and Haringey Athletics Club and has previously won gold at the 2018 European Championships.
Speaking after winning her bronze medal, Wallace said: "I'm a little bit shocked. It's been a long time coming but it feels so good.
"I'm really proud of myself.
"My coach told me to get the other contestants a little bit worried early on. I did my best and it came through.
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"Training for my event was the only thing that got me out of bed during tough times.
"But getting to my sessions and doing something gave me such a sense of achievement."
The 42-year-old is a former wheelchair racing coach and athletics activator for England Athletics and has been supported by the University of East London for the last three years.
She is one of the leading athletes on the high performance programme at East London Sport and also supports other athletes on the high-performance programme at the University.
Wallace has a neurological condition called Dystonia as well as a muscular-skeletal condition Ehlers-Danlos syndrome which affects her connective tissues, giving her severe joint issues, chronic fatigue and pain.
In Dubai, Vanessa threw consistently throughout the competition with her best coming in round five when she launched a fantastic 7.66 meters, a lifetime best by 2cm.
The European champion opened with a throw of 7.25 meters, which left her top of the leader board with seven other competitors to follow.
Matthew Tansley, director of sport at the University of East London said: "This has been a remarkable achievement for Vanessa and congratulations to her for such a fantastic win."