A NEW personal best in the Olympic Stadium this week has left Great Cornard’s Jonathan Adams dreaming of may lay ahead later this summer.
The Shot putt star, who has cerebral palsy, came second overall in Tuesday’s Paralympic Test Event, held at the venue that will hold the world’s gaze in just 11 weeks.
And the 10.09-metre throw, which he said broke a psychological barrier after previously going under 10m, catapulted him into the top 10 in the world rankings for the first time.
“It was a really good experience being in the Olympic Stadium and a great indication of what London could be like in a few week’s time,” he told the Free Press. “The atmosphere was incredible, even though they were just 2,000 people in it.”
He added: “I am really happy to finally go over 10m in only my second competition of the year.
“I was starting to think that could be a mental barrier but as Paralympians we all have to overcome mental barriers just to compete.”
The mammoth throw for Adams — who changed to a seated class in a specialist frame a year ago — means he has now obtained two London A standards of the three to five he will need for Paralympic selection.
And despite a couple of the world’s top shotputt athletes having yet to throw this season, he now finds himself in the top 10 rankings ahead of competing in the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester from May 22 to 26.
Adams, 19, said: “I am obviosuly looking forward to the Paralympic World Cup to build on what I did in London.
“Every competition is going to be difficult, but hopefully I can get some good training in before the event and get in a good run to get another (Paralympics) qualification standard. But if I do not get one it will not be a disaster, as there are other opportunities.”
Adams came second overall in the test event in his seated category out of 12 athletes and believes the result stands him in great stead for his main goal this summer, though he will not allow himself to let any compacency threaten to ruin his chances.
“A lot can change between now and London and I am just trying not to put too much pressure on myself, or things can start to go wrong.”
Adams’ result in Stratford had been even more pleasing considering his preparation had been far from ideal with neither leaving his phone in the hotel or traffic or organisations problems getting to him.
Adams could effectively book his place at the Paralympics with another strong throw in Manchester in two weeks time.