Coach hails Cunningham's golden feat
LONDON, England — Neville Sinclair, head coach of the Jamaican team to the 14th Paralympic Games here, has hailed Alphanso Cunningham's gold medal in the Men's F52/53 javelin as the "results of hard work and dedication".
Cunningham got the country's quest off to a brilliant start when he won his 'weaker' event, throwing a life time best and regional record 21.84 metres, and Sinclair said this has given the camp a big lift.
"We are feeling great, this was a superb performance," he told the Jamaica Observer a few hours after Cunningham's feat. "I could not have asked for more and it showed that hard work does pay."
If there was one thing he could have asked for, Sinclair said, "I wanted him to break the record (22.08m held by Iran's Abdolreza Jokar (who was second) as he was throwing further than that in training and we thought he could have gone past that mark."
A former Paralympian himself, Sinclair, who has been overseeing the training of the athletes since their arrival in the United Kingdom almost a month ago, said Cunningham's win was "special as he beat a quality field, including the world record-holder and the PanAmerican champion (Mexico's Mauro Maximo de Jesus), pushing them to second and third".
Team captain Tanto Campbell. who will take part in the Men's F54/55/56 discus final this morning, hailed his teammate as "a true champion who has taken himself to a new level of performance".
Campbell, who carried Jamaica's flag at last week's Opening Ceremony, said "to have come from third to beat two good men was not easy... it shows he is a champion".