PARALYMPIC champion Jody Cundy is competing at the World Championships in Los Angeles later this week and looking to improve his already impressive tally of 10 world titles.
The 33-year-old will again be cycling in three events, the 4km pursuit, kilo and team sprint which he will also be competing in the 2012 Paralympics In London in September.
Last March Cundy had world records in both the kilo and team sprint when taking gold medals. It was his first attempt at the pursuit and he came away with a silver medal.
He spoke to the Fenland Citizen earlier this week before leaving for the United States and said: “I am in very good form and really looking forward to the championships.
“I went to Majorca before Christmas for some endurance training and have been down to Newport a couple of times to get away from Manchester.
“It has all gone very well. It is the last competition before the Olympics so we will trying one or two things out and then see if we need to tinker with anything before London in September.
“It is a shame there is not another competition after this before the London Games but I am sure we will doing something behind closed doors.
“You have to try and put London and the fact that it’s a home Games out of your head until the race. You can’t let that get to you but it is difficult as it will be fantastic to appear in London in front of the home fans.”
He will have a new racing leg for the Paralympics. He had hoped to take it to LA, but it is not yet ready for action. Instead it sits in the bathroom in his Manchester home awaiting finishing touches.
Cundy looks a good bet to retain his title in the kilo event and the team sprint but faces a stiffer challenge in the pursuit. “I am four seconds off the world record in the pursuit and although I am sure I can improve on my time it looks tough.”
Any improvement in his world records also will be difficult as Cundy pointed out: “The track in Los Angeles is not as fast as some so we will have to see.”
Although these championships are very important to Cundy, the London Olympics is the event at the centre of Cundy’s heart and no surprise there as he is already a true Olympian having picked up goal medals not only at cycling but swimming too.
Cundy, who spent his childhood in Walpole St Andrew, was born with a deformed right foot which was amputated at the age of three. He was then fitted with an artificial leg, and hasn’t looked back since. At the age of 5 he had his first swimming lesson with his school and ended up being rescued from the bottom of the pool by a fully clothed parent! After that his parents enrolled him into the local swimming club where he learnt to swim.
By the time he was 15 he was a world champion, at 17 he won his first Paralympic gold in butterfly at the Atlanta Games. He competed in the pool in Sydney and Athens.
Cundy won 23 international medals in the pool with 14 gold, four silver and five bronze. He then won Paralympic gold medals in the butterfly at both the Atlanta (2000) and Athens (2004) Games.
In 2005 he switched to cycling and was soon a star in that sphere too when he won his first individual gold medal at the World Track Championships in Switzerland, breaking the world record in the process.
At the last Olympics in Beijing in 2008, he collected goal medals in both the kilo and team sprint and it is difficult not to see him completing the double again this year.
Cundy was delighted to be upgraded to club class for his flight to Los Angeles but not so happy to find his road bike, used for training, was cracked on his arrival in America.