Photo: Supreme Ventures Marketing Officer Jhanelle Davis,Minister of Industry Investment and Commerce Hon Anthony Hylton, Canadian High Commissioner, His Excellency Robert Ready, Secretary General Suzanne Harris-Henry, Paralympic Association President, Christopher Samuda.
The six member Jamaican team to the Pan Paralympic Games in Toronto Canada next month is confident of doing well and returning to the island with many medals.
The small contingent is made up of five males and one female and will be led by multiple medal winner, Alphanso Cunningham. The other members of the team include, Tevaugh Thomas, Tanto Campbell, Shane Hudson, David Bascoe and Sylvia Grant.
Cunningham, Campbell and Grant will all compete in the discus and the javelin, Hudson and Bascoe will run in the 400m while Thomas will contest the 100m.
President of the Jamaica Paralympic Association, Christopher Samuda, is hopeful about what the team can achieve this year.
“I believe we will capture two gold medals and possibly break a world record,” Samuda revealed, while remaining coy about who he thought would break the record.
Denzil Wilks, General Manager of the Sports Development Foundation said that “Jamaica is a spoilt nation. We are accustomed to winning medals…we want the gold all the time.”
However he reminded the audience that getting to the final of any event is quite an achievement and that we should be mindful of the efforts made by all the participants not just the medal winners.
His sentiments was echoed by the Minister of Sports Natalie Neita-Headley, who said the nation “had a lot to be grateful for”, following the performance of the athletes at the Pan Am Games and the performance of the Reggae Boyz at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, in the past few days.
Jhanelle Davis of sponsors Supreme Ventures, also speaking at the launch said, “We encourage the athletes to continue to work hard and excel. We are happy to respond to the call (for support).”
Supreme Ventures made a donation of $500,000 towards the cost of the games for the team.
Chef de Mission Randolph Jones assured the nation that, “The team is well prepared and will make an impact.”
Cunningham who is the highest ranked in his class in both the discus and the javelin is supremely confident ahead of the games.
“The spirits are high in the camp,” he said. “I feel good. I have been training for a year for these games. I am where I want to be and I am confident of winning gold in both events.”
Cunningham, who will be heading to his fourth games, won a gold and silver at the last games in Mexico.
The games begin on August 7th with the anticipation being that Jamaica will outdo their last showing of 4 silver and two gold medals that placed them 9th out of 24 participating nations.