Amy Watt made her Canadian Paralympic debut on Friday, finishing fifth in the women’s T47 long jump event.
The 23-year-old measured in with a jump of 5.28 metres, her second attempt of the competition.
With rain pouring down on the runway, Watt was caught a little off guard, but she was still satisfied with her result.
“The conditions weren’t exactly what we were expecting and preparing for,” she said. “I’m happy with how I performed. I came in ranked sixth and came in fifth, so I’m pretty happy with that.”
Anna Grimaldi of New Zealand won the gold with a jump of 5.76 metres (a Paralympic record), while the RPC’s Aleksandra Moguchaia and Ecuador’s Kiara Rodriguez rounded out the podium, claiming silver and bronze.
Consistency was the theme of the day for Watt as she registered jumps of 5.14, 5.15, and 5.18 on her first, third and fourth attempts.
“I had a solid series of four jumps that were all pretty consistent,” she said. “I wish I could have had a personal best. It didn’t happen today, but I’m still happy with it.”
The Palo Alto, Calif. native, who holds Canadian-American dual citizenship, was representing Canada for the first time at the Paralympic stage, having competed for the United States in Rio 2016.
At those Games, Watt placed sixth in the same event, posting a measurement of 5.15, just centimetres shy of then-teammate Taleah Williams.
“I’m a very different athlete than I was five years ago,” Watt said. “In the long jump I focused on a lot of technique work, as well as building speed and strength.”
Williams got the best of Watt once again in Tokyo, claiming the fourth-place position.
In 2019, the long jumper made the switch to represent Canada on the international stage.
During that year, she balanced a data analytics internship at Facebook with her competitive training leading up to the 2019 Parapan Am Games and IPC World Championships. She would go on to place sixth and eighth at those events.
The fifth-place showing in Tokyo was Watt’s best long jump-placing at a major international competition.