Cunningham strikes gold
Jamaica's Alphanso Cunningham won gold in the men's F52/53 Javelin at the London Paralympic Games in England yesterday.
The 32-year-old set a new national and North and South America regional record with his throw of 21.84 metres in the event ahead of Iran's Abdolreza Jokar, who was second with 20.72m.
Mexico's Mauro Maximo de Jesus placed third with a throw of 20.14m.
Cunningham was strongly favoured to hurl in a medal, as he went into the event ranked third in the world with his best throw of 20.19 metres.
Jokar, with a best throw of 21.81m, was the gold-medal favourite ahead of Mexico's Jesus (21.06).
Yesterday, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said Cunningham continues to be a role model.
"We are such a blessed people. Our excellence in sport extends beyond our size, but not beyond our ability and our will. Alphanso is indeed a role model for so many," Simpson Miller said.
"He has consistently shown that disability is not an obstacle to success. Today's (yesterday's) gold medal gives us further cause to celebrate and be proud of our great country."
Simpson Miller, who was the minister of sport when Cunningham earned gold in the discus at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, Greece, also commended the coach and other members of the Paralympics team.
Meanwhile, other Jamaicans down to compete are Tanto Campbell, who will participate in the men's discus F54/55/56 today, and Sylvia Grant, who will be in action in the women's Javelin tomorrow.
CUNNINGHAM FACT FILE
World Games, Birmingham, England - Gold, Discus
Para Pan American Games, Argentina - Gold, Discus (Pan American Record) - Gold, Javelin
Paralympic, Athens, Greece - Gold, Discus (World/ Olympic Record)
World Games, Assens, Netherlands - Silver, Discus
Para Pan American Games, Brazil - Gold, Discus - Silver, Javelin
Paralympic, Beijing, China - Fourth in Discus Final
USA Americas Cup (Qualifying Event) USA - Gold, Discus (Meet Record) - Gold Javelin (Meet Record)
Para Pan American Games, Guadalajara, Mexico - Gold, Discus (Para Pan American Record) - Silver, Javelin
- Reprinted from Jamaica Paralympic Association website