News & Updates

25 May 2024 • Para Athletics

Stedman claims thrilling long jump silver

Will Stedman adds another global medal to his collection with long jump T36 silver. Credit: (Augusto Bizzi)

Following a successful appeal of his sixth round jump, Will Stedman concluded an unforgettable 2024 Para Athletics World Championships in Kobe by winning a long jump T36 silver medal today courtesy of an Oceania record leap of 5.85m (0.1).

The 24-year-old was sat in seventh place leading into his final jump, when he unleashed a massive jump which appeared to put him firmly in the medal mix.

Initially declared a foul, Stedman verbally protested to an official on the field of play, allowing the Team Leader to officially protest at the Technical Information Centre following the completion of the event. The outcome was a successful overturn of the foul, which ensured the Christchurch-based athlete would add a second piece of precious metal to the 400m T36 gold he snared earlier in the championships.

In a high-quality competition, Paralympic champion Evgenii Torsunov, a Neutral Para Athlete, claimed gold with a championship record 5.89m (+0.8). The Brazilian duo – Rodrigo Parriera Da Silva with a best of 5.75m (-2.9) and Aser Mateus Almeida Ramos 5.74m (0.9) finished in bronze and fourth, respectively.

With a swirling wind around the Kobe Universiade Memorial Stadium creating challenging conditions for the ten finalists, Stedman, the Paralympic and 2023 Para Worlds long jump T36 silver medallist, struggled to find his best rhythm for much of the competition.

In round one, Stedman overstepped the board registering a first round foul as the early lead was taken by Torsunov with a leap of 5.58m (-3.2).

The Cantabrian, however, eased any pressure he may have been feeling by recording a jump 5.39m (0.6) to scuttle up to fourth in the overall standings. Meanwhile, Torsunov extended his advantage with an eye-catching leap of 5.73m (-2.9) – within 2cm of the championship record.

Stedman suffered frustration in round three. He put in a quality jump but giving away 25cm behind the board he posted a mark of 5.36m (-1.2) and slipped to sixth overall after Da Silva and Almeida Ramos leapfrogged the Kiwi into fourth and fifth, respectively.

Showing further signs of irritation, the 24-year-old Kiwi ran through with both his fourth and fifth attempts while out front, there was real fireworks. First Da Silva soared out to a championship record equalling 5.75m (-2.9) only for Torsunov to respond with precisely the same mark in a captivating fourth round. In round five, Almeida Ramos made a move into provisional bronze with a 5.63m (-2.6) effort.

Stedman, however, is a past master at maintaining his calm under intense pressure. At the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games he advanced from sixth to silver with his last round leap and he recreated that same magic with his sixth round performance in Kobe.

Running with great freedom he exploded off the board to his silver medal-winning jump – a mark of 5.85m which was 12cm in advance of his previous PB. Initially declared a foul following a protest he was later rewarded with the ecstatic news he had claimed silver.

Almeida Ramos improved to 5.74m in the final stanza and Torsunov left his best until last – flying out to a huge 5.89m to claim his third World Para long jump crown.

An elated Stedman said: “It is hard to process the emotions right now, it is hard to believe. It was a huge emotional rollercoaster I’m so stoked to get a big PB and an Oceania record and a medal.

“In the second round I put in a safe jump to make the top eight then on my run up wasn’t quite firing. I got quite cluttered in the fifth round so in the final round I just gave it everything. It felt like a good jump, but I had no idea whether it was a foul or not. My heart sank when the red flag went up, but when I looked at the photo the jump was ridiculously close, so I instantly wanted to protest the decision. A huge thank you to the team and my coach for their support.”

On his overall effort in Kobe, Stedman added: “It has been my best major championships ever. Two PBs, two medals, it has been awesome. It has been such a great competition because we haven’t fully targeted this, and Paris (Paralympic Games) is the ultimate goal. I think there is a lot more in the tank and the six-metre mark (in the long jump) is definitely there.”


*** Mitch Joynt will be in the final New Zealander in action at the 2024 Para Athletics World Championships in Kobe. He takes to the track in the men’s 200m T64 final at 10.15pm. 

***For more details on the team and a full schedule of when the Kiwis compete go here  

***To follow a livestream of the action at the 2024 Para Athletics World Championships in Kobe go to the Para Athletics Facebook page or visit the IPC YouTube channel.

***For live results go here

***Athletics New Zealand will provide session by session wraps when the Kiwis compete and also provide detailed updates via our social channels.