Great Cornard Paralympian Jonathan Adams believes the world’s his oyster after reclassifying as a standing thrower
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Paralympic shot-putter Jonathan Adams believes the world’s his oyster after his reclassification as a standing athlete.
The 21-year-old from Great Cornard, who suffers from cerebral palsy, underwent significant surgery on his legs in 2010 and had to switch to seated throwing as a result.
He finished 14th-place at the London 2012 Paralympics, following a minimal period of retraining, then immediately set himself the challenge of competing outside of a chair once more.
Gruelling physio and technical training got him to that point at the start of this season and, following success at a recent competition in Switzerland, he has now been officially reclassified by the International Paralympic Committee.
“I always had it in my mind that I wanted to be a standing thrower again,” said Adams, who is studying a psychology degree as part of a sports scholarship at Loughborough University.
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“It’s been a lot of hard work, but I love a challenge and now I’m officially an F35 classified competitor. It’s a real weight off my shoulders and now I feel like I’ve got the opportunity to achieve what I really want to achieve.
“Prior to my surgery I was throwing around 10m when standing. This season I have thrown over 12 metres on four occasions. My throw of 12.62m in Switzerland earlier this month already ranks me at No.2 in the world. That’s not a bad start is it?”
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There will be a handful of Para events at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow at the end of July, but F35 shot-putt isn’t one of them. Instead, Adams’ short-term focus is on the IPC European Championships, to be held in Swansea this August, with the 2016 Paralympics in Rio the ultimate goal.
“The ambition to qualify for Rio is stronger now more than ever,” said Adams. “I know there are still a lot of hurdles to overcome and I’m fully aware that one set-back could end it all, but mentally and physically I’m in a good place and I’m really enjoying it. I feel like the world’s my oyster.”