Paralympics uproar after Fenland hopeful Jody Cundy denied re-race

JODY Cundy’s hopes of a sixth Paralympic gold medal were shattered when he was denied a re-race after stumbling out of his starting block in the C4-C5 1km trial in London today (Friday).

Cundy was the last of the competitors to race and his wheel slipped as he left the starting machine.

He immediately waved his hand to want a restart but the judges denied his request and stated it was rider error.

Cundy was clearly furious, throwing down his gloves and a water bottle to the floor. He was still incandescent as he was led away from the centre of the track.

Cundy said: “I fell out of the gate because the f****** gate didn’t open.

“I’ve wasted four years of my life to ride in front of 6,000 people. Do you know what it’s like to dedicate four years of your life... I can’t even express it, there aren’t the f****** words.

“I’ll never ever get this opportunity again, never, ever. What am I supposed to do now?”

Jody later apologised for his behaviour.

Coach Chris Furber explained what happened afterwards: “During the countdown I felt the gate didn’t release right.

“I would count that as a mishap. In the mishap the rules require a restart. On inspection the gate commissaire said that the gate was fine, so the chief commissaire ruled there was no mishap.”

Cycling experts commentating for Channel 4 all agreed that Cundy should have had a second chance, but the Team GB management’s pleas were also rejected.

Cundy would have needed a world record to take gold in the event after Spain’s Alfonso Cabello completed the kilo in a new record of 1 min 05.947secs and not surprisingly the Spanish officials were quick to protest that Cundy should not have a re-race.

Britain’s Jon-Allan Butterworth took the silver medal in 1 min 05.985secs.

Cundy had won the gold medal in this event in Beijing and the Team Sprint and had also won three gold medals as swimmer at Sydney and Athens.

Cundy lines up in the 4km pursuit tomorrow morning (Saturday).