Cunningham strikes gold

Published: Wednesday | September 5, 2012 Comments 0
Cunningham
Cunningham
Jamaica's gold medallist Alphanso Cunningham competing in the men's Javelin Throw F52/53 at the 2012 Paralympics in London, yesterday. Cunningham set a regional record of 21.84 metres by taking top spot ahead of Iran's silver medallist, Abdolreza Jokar (20.72m), and Mexico's Mauro Maximo (20.14m). - AP
Jamaica's gold medallist Alphanso Cunningham competing in the men's Javelin Throw F52/53 at the 2012 Paralympics in London, yesterday. Cunningham set a regional record of 21.84 metres by taking top spot ahead of Iran's silver medallist, Abdolreza Jokar (20.72m), and Mexico's Mauro Maximo (20.14m). - AP

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).

ROLE MODEL

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

2003

World Games, Birmingham, England - Gold, Discus

2003

Para Pan American Games, Argentina - Gold, Discus (Pan American Record) - Gold, Javelin

2004

Paralympic, Athens, Greece - Gold, Discus (World/ Olympic Record)

2006

World Games, Assens, Netherlands - Silver, Discus

2007

Para Pan American Games, Brazil - Gold, Discus - Silver, Javelin

2008

Paralympic, Beijing, China - Fourth in Discus Final

2010

USA Americas Cup (Qualifying Event) USA - Gold, Discus (Meet Record) - Gold Javelin (Meet Record)

2011

Para Pan American Games, Guadalajara, Mexico - Gold, Discus (Para Pan American Record) - Silver, Javelin

- Reprinted from Jamaica Paralympic Association website

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