Ja end Para-Games with one medal

... Cunningham, Grant finish 4th and 8th

BY PAUL A REID Observer Writer

Friday, September 07, 2012    

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LONDON, England — Jamaica ended its campaign at the 14th Paralympics in London last night with Men's javelin F52/53 javelin champion Alphanso Cunningham and seven-time Paralympian Sylvia Grant failing to add to the javelin gold won by the former on Tuesday.

Cunningham repeated his fourth-place finish from Beijing, China four years ago in the F51/52/53 discus final with a season's best 24.68m, while Grant was eighth in the Women's javelin F57/58 final, also in a season's best 19.06m, her second straight Games without a medal to add to the six she has already won.

Grant was ninth in the javelin in Beijing and 12th in the discus.

While Cunningham competed under a hot sun in the morning session, Grant faced the chill of the late English summe in the evening session.

After his success in the javelin, his so called weaker event on Tuesday, a lot was expected from Cunningham entering the discus.

However, he failed to get close to his personal best of over 26.00m which would have ensured him a place on the podium as his 24.68m calculated for 835 points in his F53 category saw him finish behind three men from lower classifications.

Algeria's Berrahal Mohamed, who trained at the same facility as the Jamaican team in Bedford before arriving in London, won the gold medal after throwing an F51 World Record 12.37m for 1093 points.

Latvia's Apinis Aigars threw a F52 world record 21.00m for 1010 points to take the silver, while while Tunisia's Zemzemi Mohamed, who is competing in the F51 category, threw a personal best 11.34m for 10.93m for 917 points for bronze.

With athletes from different classifications competing against each other, points are calculated for each performance in an effort to level the playing field.

While refusing to use a slight "pinch" he said he felt in his shoulder during the competition and which he said he also felt on Tuesday, Cunningham said making the finals and being the top F53 athlete in the Paralympics went a far ways towards soothing his wounds.

After a solid first round where he increased his season's best with each of this three throws -- 23.96m, 24.19m and 24.68m -- the Athens, Greece discus gold medalist appeared poised to get close to, or surpass, his personal best 26.45m, which would have placed him on the podium.

In the final, however, he failed to improve on his earlier marks, managing 23.41m, a foul throw and 24.62m.

He said during the interim between both rounds, his coaches had indicated his throws had been "too flat" and he tried to get more height in the finals.

Grant had just one legal throw in the first round, 18.71m for 761 points, but that was good enough to see her grab the eighth and final spot in the final, where she improved her mark, but was unable to make any move in the standings.

She threw 18.78m (765 points), 18.85m (769 points) and 19.06m (780 points).

The athletes and officials will return home on Wednesday.





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