Paralympians brace for IPC World Champs
THE Jamaica Paralympic dream team is expected to field a strong contingent at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships to be staged July 15-30 in Lyon, France.
Preparation of the athletes is currently taking place under the watchful eyes of coaches Neville Sinclair and Jefferson Davis, with the paralympians working out at the upgraded gym facilities at the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre, which has been facilitated, in part, by a contribution made by the Usain Bolt Foundation.
Jamaica's medals at the IPC World Championships in July are expected to come from Alphanso Cunningham in the men's F52/53 discus and javelin; Tanto Campbell in the men's F55/56 discus; Shane Hudson in the men's T46 400 m and Javon Campbell in the men's T46 100 m and 200 m, if the Jamaica Paralympic Association is successful in its bid to have Javon's classification case reviewed.
Last year, Javon went to the USA to be classified at its Paralympic Trials and was deemed too strong by IPC Classifiers to be a paralympic athlete. He was, however, allowed to compete and won the 200m and placed second in the 100m.
But dreams will not only be realised for Javon in those events as, if the JPA has its way, Sheldon Cox and Omar Brown could create history at Lyon in France as Jamaica's first athletes to compete in the wheelchair race competition.
In an historic move in 2012, the Jamaica Paralympic Association successfully applied to have the UTech Classic and two All-Comers Meets recognised by the IPC as qualifying events for local athletes -- a first in Jamaica.
This year the JPA is proposing to the IPC that the UTech Classic be endorsed as a Paralympic Qualifying Meet at which local and overseas athletes could compete in selected events for medals. This would enhance the profile of the local paralympic movement both nationally and internationally.
Meanwhile, the Jamaica paralympians continue to be well represented at local road race events such as the Digicel Night 5K, Sigma/Burgher King10K, UWI/CB Chicken 5K, UTECH/UWI 5K, the High Mountain Coffee 5K, Wolmer's 5K and Hugo Chambers 5K.
In addition, the JPA has embarked on a "Road to Lyon" drive to recruit talent and medal prospects to further widen its skill set.
Jamaica's Alphanso Cunningham competing in the men's F52/53 javelin event at last year's Paralympic Games in London where he won the gold medal.