Markus Rehm is looking to add a fourth Paralympic title in the the men’s long jump T64.
The German has enjoyed a fantastic 2021 season so far – breaking the world record with a huge 8.62m jump in June. The distance would have been good enough to win every Olympic title since 1992.
The number four is considered an unlucky number in Japan but the heavy favourite is relaxed about any superstitions concerning his attempt to add a fourth Paralympic gold medal to his collection.
“I don't think [four] is an unlucky number. I don’t believe in such things… I just try to be positive. I had a great preparation,” he said at a media conference ahead of the Paralympic Games in Japan.
Markus Rehm at Tokyo Paralympics
Rehm admitted to worrying that the postponement would mean he would never get back to the best shape of his life. In reality, he surpassed his own expectations and is even better than he was in 2020.
“Together [with my coach], we made it happen… I think it's possible to jump far… I watched some of the Olympic competitions I watched how far they jumped.”
Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas broke the world record in the women’s triple jump during the athletics at the Olympics and there are hopes that Rehm could better his 8.61m mark during competition time.
"It would be great to have a similar headline at the Paralympic Games... I am super excited to be in the Paralympic Village. I'm really looking forward to going to the stadium for the first time at the Opening Ceremony. And I can't wait to try the sand pit in there."
Rehm turned 32 on 22 August and was presented with a cake and a song for his birthday. He doesn’t plan on veering too far away from his planned meals ahead of the competition.
“I always try to be just the best [version] of myself. And that's what I do today. I try to be the best in the world. It doesn't matter if I wear a prosthetic leg or something like that… And I just try to do the best.”