London2012: Adams takes shot at gold

PARALYMPIC DEBUT: Jonathan Adams, who will make his London2012 bow on Tuesday evening. ''''           Picture: Kevin Pengelly
PARALYMPIC DEBUT: Jonathan Adams, who will make his London2012 bow on Tuesday evening. '''' Picture: Kevin Pengelly

JONATHAN Adams was so adamant he wasn’t going to miss out on London 2012 that there may be a spare ticket going now he’s set for his Paralympic debut.

The 19-year-old shot putter from Great Cornard cannot wait to be part of history when he takes his place in the Olympic Stadium next Tuesday for the F34 (cerebal palsy seated) shot put final – though he thought it might have been in a seat as a spectator.

“It’s finally starting to sink in that I will be a part of London 2012,” said Adams. “I actually bought a ticket to my event, just in case I didn’t make it. It seems quite funny now but I didn’t want to miss it.

“I wasn’t expecting to make London. I have only been doing the seated throw for the last year – it’s a huge learning curve for me. To achieve that kind of dream so early is quite amazing.

“I was walking through London and thinking, ‘I’m not just a regular teenager here I’m a Paralympic athlete’ – that was a very nice moment. You can’t really put it into words how it feels, it’s a great honour to be involved.”

The former Great Cornard Upper School pupil is trying not to heap too much pressure on himself by predicting being among the medals, but goes into the competition in the best form of his life.

He threw a personal best of 10.21m in the BT Paralympic World Cup in May to finish fifth and had already proved his pedigree at the Olympic Stadium earlier that month – finishing second at the London Disability Athletics Challenge test event.

“I am so honoured to be able to be part of history,” he said. “I have no expectations and I just want to go out and enjoy the experience and if I make the top 10 I will be over the moon – to get to the final would be a dream come true.”

After having three throws each from their scheduled event start time of 7.03pm, the top eight will go through to contest the medals, but Adams admits his goals are part of a more long-term plan.

He said: “I am confident in myself but I am not one to go and say I am going to get a gold medal when I have no chance.

“I am not looking to put too much pressure on myself or it can put false hope in other people.

“There are lots of people interested in my story but it is only right to be realistic and that way when I compete it will actually make me feel proud of myself with what I achieve.”

The former Sudbury Cricket Club junior added: “I would like to get to Rio (2016) and medal there if I can stay healthy.

“I am going to enjoy the experience and make the best of it and try my best to get a good performance.”

Adams will be up against his Loughborough training partner and good friend Dan West in the Olympic Stadium, a silver medallist at last year’s World Championships and veteran of four previous Paralympics. But he sees himself as the only competition in the way of what he can achieve at London 2012.

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