Dacorum & Tring Athletics Club’s Esme O’Connell has tasted Team GB success after winning a gold medal and the title of World Junior long jump champion.
Esme had severe epilepsy as a young child that left her with very challenging learning difficulties.
She no longer has epilepsy but still struggles with day-to-day tasks that others take for granted. Esme developed a passion for athletics after winning a sports day race at school. This led to Esme joining Dacorum & Tring AC and she tried a few events before excelling in the 100m and long jump.
This season has seen Esme go from strength to strength, taking record after record in the para athletics categories in 100m and long jump. This stellar season took on a new phase when Esme was selected to represent Britain in the long jump T20 category and travel to Nottwil, Switzerland, for the inaugural World Para Athletics Championships.
Esme produced a jump of four metres 31 cm which took the lead from the opening round – a lead she never relinquished.
She backed up the leading jump with consistent four-metre leaps despite fierce competition from a Turkish athlete.
The opening jump proved enough to take the gold and the world title.
The competition was for U18s so Esme’s achievement is all the more impressive in that she only turned 15 last month.
Esme is ranked No 1 in her age group for long jump and third in all age groups.
She is also ranked No 1 in all age groups for the 100m (all-time ranking).