BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2019: Sabrina Fortune profile

Sabrina Fortune
Sabrina Fortune won her first F20 shot put world title in 2019
BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year award 2019
Venue: Celtic Manor Resort, Newport Date: Tuesday, 10 December
Coverage: Results and updates on BBC Wales Today, the BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru

Shot putter Sabrina Fortune won her first world title in dramatic fashion at the 2019 World Para-Athletics Championships in Dubai, UAE, in November.

The 22-year-old from Deeside shattered her previous personal best to win F20 gold with a last throw of 13.91m.

Ukraine's Anastasiia Mysnyk and Fortune were involved in a titanic struggle in the final, with the Welsh athlete opening with efforts of 12.32m and 12.79m, before throwing a championship record of 13.26m to take the lead in round three.

Mysnyk replied with a throw of 13.31m in round five and then improved her leading mark to 13.48m in round six.

With one throw remaining to her, Fortune dealt with the pressure superbly to throw that huge personal best - adding 21 centimetres to her previous mark - setting yet another championship record and sealing gold for Great Britain.

Sabrina Fortune
Sabrina Fortune also competed in the discus before specialising in the shot put

Fortune was born with speech dyspraxia, a condition which makes verbal communication difficult and resulted in a learning disability.

Despite being crowned the best in the world in shot put this year, her first love was discus which she took up as an 11-year-old after being inspired by watching her brother.

Although Fortune also competed in the shot put at youth level, it seemed as though her international future lay in discus as she worked her way up the junior ranks and by 2013 the then 15-year-old was ranked first in her classification in Britain.

That rise had been helped by training with fellow north Walian and four-time Paralympian Beverley Jones, who won F37 discus bronze at London 2012.

But by 2014, helped by an impressive performance at the annual Brazilian Paralympic School Games where she took gold, Fortune's future lay firmly in the shot put as her burgeoning talent became apparent.

Now added to the senior Great Britain ranks, Fortune made her World Para-Athletics Championships debut in 2015 in Qatar, Doha, but agonisingly finished just outside the medals - although fourth place at her first attempt at the top level was highly creditable.

In the build-up to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, Fortune again just missed out on a medal at the Para-Athletics European Championships in Grosseto, Italy, but her fourth place confirmed her place to Brazil.

This time there was to be no story of a medal near-miss, as Fortune threw a personal best of 12.94m to win the Paralympic bronze medal, with Poland's Ewa Durska throwing a world record 13.94m to win gold and Mysnyk taking silver.

After the euphoria of Rio, 2017 proved a sobering experience for Fortune who suffered a fall in form that saw her finish sixth at the World Para-Athletics Championships in London.

After putting in the training hours, Fortune saw a big improvement in her form during 2018, bouncing back from her disappointment at London 2017 to deliver her first major title.

In a season where she threw a personal best of 13.70m, Fortune won gold in the women's F20 shot put at the World Para-Athletics European Championships in Berlin, Germany.

In the process, Fortune beat reigning Paralympic and world champion Durska to the gold, in the process smashing the championship record with a throw of 13.30m.

With the knowledge and confidence that she could now beat the world's best, Fortune continued her improvement this year to take the world crown in that thrilling final in Dubai.

Having also shown she is able to hold her nerve on the big occasions when titles are on the line, Fortune will now redouble her efforts as she seeks to add a Paralympic title to her growing collection of medals at Tokyo 2020.

Also among Fortune's targets will be to again make huge strides in raising her personal best, with the aim to break through the 14m mark for the first time in her career and then perhaps bid to break Durska's world record mark of 14.10m.

Voting for BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2019 opened at 07:30 GMT on Monday, 2 December and closed at 18:00 GMT on Sunday, 8 December.

Full voting terms and conditions are available on the BBC website here and will also be carried on radio and television.

The winner will be unveiled on Tuesday, 10 December.

This event is not connected with the UK Sports Personality of the Year and is for the Wales award only.