Jamaican paralympic throws gold in javelin

Jamaica’s Alphanso Cunningham competes at Men’s Discus Throw - F51/52/53 at the 2012 Paralympics in London, Thursday, Sep. 6, 2012.
AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

Jamaican Paralympics athlete Alphanso Cunningham won the nation’s first gold medal Saturday by winning the javelin with a record throw at the 14th Paralympic Games in London, England.

The 32-year-old set a new regional record with his throw of 21.84 metres.

“I knew I could win as those in front of me had already done their best already and I told myself it was now or never,” Cunningham told reporters.

“I was going for power as I was aiming for the record and they fouled me for easing” (lifting his body off the chair).

His gold medal win lessens the burden of stress he might have suffered going into his next field event, the discus.

“That is my better event, so right now I have no fears or pressure going into it,” he said.

Reportedly, during the javelin event he said he felt muscle spasms. He hopes his training coach will help rid him of the nuisance pains.

“We are such a blessed people. Our excellence in sport extends beyond our size but not beyond our ability and our will. Alphonso is indeed a role model for so many,” Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller said. “He has consistently shown that disability is not an obstacle to success. Today’s gold medal gives us further cause to celebrate and be proud of our great country.”

The prime minister has commended the coach, and the Paralympics team.

In 2004, Cunningham earned gold in the discus at the Paralympics in Athens. He placed fourth at the Beijing, China Paralympics.

Iran’s Jokar Abdolreza took the silver with a throw of 20.72m. While Mexico’s Mauro Maximo de Jesus placed third in 20.14m.

The 10-day athletic, competitions end on Sept. 9 and spotlights 4,200 disabled athletes from 164 nations.

It is the second-largest multi-sport event ever held in the United Kingdom after the 2012 Summer Olympics.

It is expected to be the largest and most commercially successful Paralympics ever.

Last month 19-year-old Trinbagonian, Keshorn Walcott made history for the region winning the region’s first gold in javelin throwing at the 30th Olympiad.

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