Adams closing in on Paralympic selection

BIG MONTH: Paralympic hopeful Jonathan Adams, pictured with student Adam Wicks when he returned to his old school Cornard Upper last July.

BIG MONTH: Paralympic hopeful Jonathan Adams, pictured with student Adam Wicks when he returned to his old school Cornard Upper last July.

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GREAT Cornard’s Jonathan Adams hopes the next four weeks can see him move much closer towards booking his place in the Great Britain Paralympic track and field team.

He will get a taste of what he hopes to replicate in August on Tuesday when throwing at a packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford for a test event that allows him to add to his one London A standard qualification grade achieved from his first event of the season.

And then the discus and shot putter’s attention will immediately switch to achieving another London standard at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester from May 22 to 26, with every athlete having to get three or five A or Bs this season to be selected.

The 19-year-old former Great Cornard Upper School pupil achieved his first top standard in Stoke Mandeville with a personal best 9.98 metres in the shot putt to kick off his campaign in fine style last month.

And Adams can’t wait for to sample the atmosphere in the Olympic Stadium.

“It has been a good start to the year, and although I have already got one (A standard) it does not guarantee me a place but puts me in good stead.

“The test event will give people an opportunity to get more qualification standards and I am definitely looking forward to it.

“It will be great to see what the stadium is going to be like ahead of the Games, and if I do get selected it will not be an alien environment for me.”

Having switched his training base to internationally-renowned Loughborough University to tie in with his studies and leave no stone unturned in his bid to share the London limelight, Adams insists he’s in great shape for the next four weeks, including the trip to Manchester.

But he’s not about to heap unnecessary pressure on himself with any bold predictions.

“This is going to be my first event at such a level,” he said of the World Cup. “I have watched the World Cup before but it will be good to compete this time and I am looking forward to it.

“I can’t wait to get out there and experience what it’s like.

“I used to think about all sorts of things and who is doing what, now I just concentrate on myself and I am aware of people around me but I don’t let it bother me, I keep focused.

“Everyone is a rival and everyone is a threat. I keep thinking it is my event and it is my chance and try to do my best.

“I will try to get a personal best — I think that if I’m there then it’s because I’m good enough to be there. I will try to keep myself to myself and just go out there and throw.

“If I can keep progressing and working hard hopefully I can be at London 2012.”

n Elite international athletes will be competing in athletics, football seven-a-side and wheelchair basketball at the BT Paralympic World Cup. For tickets and more information visit: www.btparalympicworldcup.com