LONDON 2012: Adams gets a shot at gold

GOING FOR GOLD: Jonathan Adams is counting down the days to the start of the Paralympics
GOING FOR GOLD: Jonathan Adams is counting down the days to the start of the Paralympics

JONATHAN Adams is still pinching himself, but counting down the days to London 2012 after being selected for the British Paralympic athletics team.

The Great Cornard shotputter was told on Monday he had been selected, but had to keep the news to himself until the official announcement on Tuesday.

“I told my mum about ten minutes after I got the phone call,” he said, “but I had to tell her not to say anything. It was a difficult 24 hours.”

Adams, part of the 49-strong athletics team, will be competing in the F34 shot putt. He throws seated, a discipline he had to switch to just over a year ago.

“I’m still in a state of shock,” said Adams. “It’s a bit surreal. I didn’t think I had the potential to achieve this. I have always tried to be realistic, to keep things on a low key and hope results would fall into place.”

The Paralympics start on August 29, but prior to that Adams, 19, will be going to the GB athletics holding camp in Portugal before the move into the Olympic village. He sampled the atmosphere of the Olympic Stadium at a test event in May.

“So many people have made so many sacrifices for me to help make my dream come true. I hope I can do them and Suffolk proud in September.

“But we should spare a thought for the athletes who haven’t made it. I know how it feels after having that experience with the World Championships last year,” he said.

Adams, who was born prematurely, has cerebral palsy and visual impairment, conditions which have meant a number of operations. He originally threw both shot and discus standing up, but had to switch to seated last year.

“As I have only been throwing seated for a year I am still developing. Achieving the required standard, and selection, hopefully means I can continue to improve. If I put the work in, I should get better,” he said.

“I had to peak to get selected, and hopefully I’ll be in good shape when the competition starts. I have been given this opportunity, and I have to take it by the scruff of the neck. But just being selected is like winning a gold medal. I’m still on Cloud Nine.”

The former Great Cornard Upper School pupil is currently living and training at Loughborough University, having moved there last year. In October he starts a three-year social psychology course.