Veteran Paralympian Jody Cundy first to win medal at seven games

260821 jody cundy paralympian silver Toyko

Veteran Paralympian Jody Cundy, from Wisbech, has added a silver to his impressive haul of medals.

Cundy, who has won gold seven times, took silver in the Men's 1000m time trial C4-5 as he attempted to defend his title.

He has taken part in six Paralympics having competed as a swimmer in Atlanta, Sydney and Athens before successfully moving to the bike for Beijing, London and Rio.

There was more success for the Anglia region when Maisie Summers-Newton won gold in the pool.

The 42-year-old was beaten by Spain's Alfonso Cabello Llamas, who set a new world record of one minute 1.557 seconds.

He said: "I thought I’d be really disappointed with silver but I’ve just been beaten by the better man today.

“I pulled out a brilliant time but Alfonso was excellent. I did the best performance I can on the day, but when you’re beaten by a performance like that you just have to take your hat off to him.”

Jody's brother Ashley tweeted how proud he was of his achievement.

Cundy, was born with a deformed right foot that was amputated when he was three years old. He started swimming at the age of 10, making his international debut at the swimming world championships in Malta in 1994.

Jody Cundy in action on the bike in Toyko Credit: PA Images

Cundy would go on to swim for Great Britain at three Paralympic Games, winning three gold and two bronze medals. A year after the Athens Games, he rode on the track for the first time, at Newport Velodrome, and his potential quickly brought him to the attention of the Great Britain Cycling Team.

While still swimming on the Great Britain team, he was selected for the Paralympic World Cup team and rode the team sprint setting a new world record, alongside Darren Kenny and Mark Bristow.

That performance was enough to convince Cundy to concentrate fully on cycling and a gold medal, and world record, in the kilo at his debut UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Aigle, Switzerland in the summer of 2006 vindicated his decision.

That was the start of a decade and half of success on the track with a double gold medal performance following at the 2007 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Bordeaux, France, where Cundy won the kilo and team sprint, the events that he targeted at the Beijing Paralympic Games the following year.

In China, Cundy would join the elite band of British Paralympic athletes who have been medallists in two different sports when he broke the world record on the way to winning the kilo in a time of 1:05.466. He then claimed his second gold medal of the Games, alongside Kenny and Bristow, in the team sprint final defeating China by over a second

His achievements were also recognised when he was appointed Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours list, an award that was followed by being made Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) eight years later, for his services to the two sports.

The London Paralympics did not go according to plan. Favourite for gold in the kilo, a slip out of the start gate, apparently due to a mechanical fault, denied Cundy the opportunity to defend his Olympic title with officials refusing his appeal for a restart.

Cundy had the consolation of winning bronze in the four-kilometre individual pursuit in which he covered the opening kilometre of his heat in 1:05.317, a time that would have won him gold in the kilo.

The rider also used the platform of the London Paralympics to declare that he would be continuing his illustrious career.

Cundy’s efforts saw him recognised by Anglia Ruskin University who awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in a ceremony at the Cambridge Corn Exchange in autumn 2012.

And since London 2012, Cundy has continued to be unbeatable in the kilo, clinching gold in seven successive UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships – from Aguascalientes, Mexico, 2014 to Milton, Canada, in 2020.

Cundy, who lists his hobbies as including cinema, music, Moto GP and power-kiting, also made a winning return to the team sprint discipline in Montichiari in 2016, joining Jon Allan Butterworth and Louis Rolfe in winning gold against China in a new world record time of 49.268.

Jody Cundy with the flag after winning a silver in Toyko Credit: PA Images

Later that year, Cundy made up for the disappointment in missing gold at London four years earlier as he won two Paralympic titles in Rio.

In all, between 2006 and 2020, the experienced sprinter has won no fewer than 12 kilo time trial golds at UCI Para-cycling World Track Championships.