MUCH like his London 2012 selection charge, Jonathan Adams left it late at the BT Paralympic World Cup this week.
But despite his tardiness, the former Great Cornard Upper School pupil insisted his debut at the Manchester event was a resounding success.
Adams, 19, now based in Loughborough for his studies, is a fairly fresh face in the GB set-up and as a consequence was making his Paralympic World Cup debut in Manchester.
After a shaky start where the cerebral palsy sufferer looked to be feeling the pressure of a star-studded field, which included reigning world silver medallist and training partner Dan West, he eventually delivered a personal best throw of 10.21m.
But after admitting he is still getting used to the transition from standing to seated throwing, Adams was more than happy with his London 2012 warm-up in Manchester.
“It was a difficult competition,” said Adams – who finished in fifth place as West took gold with a throw of 11.26m. “I was struggling early on up until the last few rounds, but I pulled it out the bag in the last round and got a new personal best of 10.21m.
“It’s a big competition for me, I haven’t competed against these guys since last year, so it was a great opportunity for me to be throwing against them.
“As well as that, I’ve only been competing in seated throwing for a year, so being able to throw these distances and being competitive with some of the best guys in the world is a great indication for me.
“The way I have come into the sport I didn’t expect to be at this kind of level yet.
“It’s great for me and I think it’s mainly down to my shift in coaching staff. I used to train down at Lee Valley in London but last September I moved to Loughborough to train with Jim Edwards and the work I’ve been doing with him has been of great benefit to me and to my throwing.”
With the Paralympic World Cup now out of the way, Adams, whose family home is still in Great Cornard, now has few distractions ahead of the London 2012 Paralympics — not that he’s thinking about it just yet.
“London is the main goal but I’m not thinking too much about that and just concentrating on the events beforehand,” he added. “It’s a way of taking the pressure off a little bit. If I get too involved I won’t be able to concentrate on what I need to be doing now. This is helping me to hone my skills and my focus and produce personal bests like this.”
n The BT Paralympic World Cup took place in Manchester from May 22-26 with elite international athletes competing in athletics, football (7-a-aside) and wheelchair basketball. Go to www.btparalympicworldcup.com for more information.