Fenland’s golden boys
There was a golden feeling in Fenland over the weekend as two of the region’s finest athletes tasted Paralympic glory in Rio.
Jody Cundy, from Walpole St Andrew, claimed two golds in the velodrome while, sandwiched in between Cundy’s double success, Doddington sprinter Jonnie Peacock stylishly retained his T44 100m crown.
Cundy’s first gold arrived in the C4/C5 one-kilometres time-trial on Friday night.
The 37-year-old put the hurt of missing out on the top of the podium at London 2012 behind him with a stunning ride.
Cundy got a clean start and completed the four laps quicker than anyone else.
His time was factored to 1.02.473, giving him a margin of victory of 1.72 seconds.
A delighted Cundy said: “I was just panicking and looking at all the different times, because it flicks between the factored time and all the other times.
“I just wanted to make sure the time I did was quicker than everybody else and then I knew I was pretty good, so that was cool.
“It wasn’t my perfect race, but it was the race that took me to my Paralympic gold.
“I was quicker than all my competitors. You didn’t even need to use the factoring to win, so I’m properly pleased about that.”
On Sunday, Cundy followed up his win in the 1km sprint with another gold.
This time he joined forces with Jon Allan-Butterworth and Louis Rolfe to win the team C1-5 sprint in a new world record time.
They beat defending champions China in the final to win an eighth gold medal for GB in the velodrome.
Peacock, meanwhile, blew his opponents away to finish in 10.81 seconds, equalling the Paralympic record he had set himself just the night before.
Afterwards, the 23-year-old said: “It’s times like this where you have to look back on your experience as an athlete.
“There’s so much pressure and it’s so easy to get distracted. I got to 40m, there was a point where I started to get distracted, but I pulled myself back into the race and I just kept pushing and that’s when I pulled away.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been involved supporting me, there’s too many to name.
“Nothing’s ever going to beat London for the achievement but as a sporting achievement this was so much greater for me.
“The talent that was in this class today was unbelievable. Paralympic sport is progressing so much at the minute.”