After starting the 2023 Youth Commonwealth Games in Trinidad with a silver medal from the T38 class men’s 100m final, Jewish para athlete Ori Drabkin arrived home in Melbourne on Sunday with a second silver medal in his luggage.
The Maccabi Victoria Athletics Club (MVAC) member, who made his international debut at last year’s Oceania Athletics Championships, finished strongly in difficult, windy conditions in the para men’s long jump on August 11, contested by eight athletes from five nations.
He fouled his first two jumps, but kept calm to post a safe jump of 3.79m to stay in the hunt, before finishing with leaps of 4.55m and 4.62m, a new PB.
Fellow Aussie Jackson Love came first (4.86m), and Welshman William Bishop third (4.44m)
Commenting on his experience of the Games – which included para athletics for the first time – Drabkin said, “Everyone here [in the stadium] is cheering for able-bodied and para athletes the same, which shows they’re enjoying it as much as we are.”
On social media, he thanked the team’s managers, his coaches, physios, his club, and especially his family, and for “everyone’s messages”.
“After struggling with injury, illness, and more throughout the months leading into the Games, I was relieved to even make it onto the track, let alone set new PBs, and win two medals.”
The athletics action now shifts to the World Championships in Budapest, where Olympian and MVAC life member Jemima Montag, 25, will represent Australia in the women’s 20km race walk, to be shown on SBS TV from 3.15pm on August 20 (AEST time).