The Star (Jamaica)

Cox makes Paralympic history

-

Paralympia­n Sheldon Cox made history on Sunday when he became the first Jamaican athlete to participat­e in wheelchair racing at an internatio­nal games.

Cox was in semi-final three but was unable to match the speed and experience of other competitor­s and failed to progress to the final.

Introduced to the sport just over two months ago, and his training hampered severely by the late arrival of his chair in Doha from Kingston owing to airline delays, Cox’s back was against the wall, but he was not discourage­d:

“I realistica­lly was not expecting a place in the final. I am new to the sport. I know that come next year, it will be a different ball game,” he said.

CHANGED JUDGING

Meanwhile, Alphanso ‘ The Ambassador’ Cunningham fell victimin in the javelin as some other athletes have. The changed judging system of the Internatio­nal Paralympic Committee (IPC),has removed from the discus, shot put, and javelin competitio­ns the Raza system of a performanc­e-based allocation of points for classes of disabiliti­es and has implemente­d a placement system based exclusivel­y on the measured distances.

This has proved to be inequitabl­e, particular­ly where classes of athletes of differing disabiliti­es have been merged as in Cunningham’s case.

Cunningham, an F53 athlete in his events, has been pitted against F54 athletes who are physically bigger and stronger and therefore more capable of throwing further distances. He is consequent­ly at a distinct disadvanta­ge.

Countries have raised strong objections to the system, and some athletes have elected not to participat­e in their customary events given the inequity.

Jamaica Paralympic Committee president Christophe­r Samuda said: “The IPC will have to go back to the drawing board as this is untenable and discourage­s athletes from giving of their best in a sport movement, the vision of which is to enable para-athletes to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world.”

 ?? RUDOLPH BROWN ?? Shevon Stewart (foreground) goes for a ball and is challenged by an Innswood player in their Manning Cup football game at Winchester Park last Monday. St George’s won the game 5-0.
RUDOLPH BROWN Shevon Stewart (foreground) goes for a ball and is challenged by an Innswood player in their Manning Cup football game at Winchester Park last Monday. St George’s won the game 5-0.
 ??  ?? Jamaica’s Alphanso Cunningham in the discus event at the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008.
Jamaica’s Alphanso Cunningham in the discus event at the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008.
 ??  ?? Sheldon Cox
Sheldon Cox

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica