Paralympics - Cundy eyes gold at Rio after disappointment of London 2012

Great Britain's Jody Cundy with his gold medal won at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Mexico last year.
Great Britain's Jody Cundy with his gold medal won at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Mexico last year.
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Jody Cundy is adamant a gold medal in Rio next year will provide the high point of his glittering para-cycling career.

The 36-year-old 10-time world champion from Wisbech is still smarting over his explosive exit from London 2012 when a start-gate issue saw him disqualified from his favoured kilo event.

Cundy’s subsequent rant at track-side officials was caught on camera and led to him becoming something of a household name for the wrong reasons.

And although subsequent performances have emphasised that Cundy has put what could have proved a career-defining moment behind him, he admits the pain of the incident still spurs him on.

Cundy said: “My motivation has pretty much been that I didn’t get to ride in the kilo in London.

“I knew I was in the best shape of my life then, and since then I’ve managed to win two world titles and break the world record.

“When I won the first world title after London, it felt like the best gold medal I’ve ever won, but after that I managed to put those memories of London to bed.

“The focus is fully on making sure I win that gold medal at the Paralympics in Rio and I feel like I’m in the best form of my training career so at this point I’m on the right path.”

Cundy won the first three of his five Paralympic gold medals in swimming before switching codes and triumphing in both the kilo and team sprint events in Beijing in 2008.

But bronze in the 4km pursuit in London was not what the world-leading Cundy expected and led to a prolonged period of soul-searching not helped by a diminishing number of world-level events for para-track cyclists.

Another world gold - Cundy’s career 10th - in Apeldoorn earlier this year went a long way towards proving that the Wisbech-born racer had shrugged off any lingering frustrations surrounding his sport.

“It’s been a struggle with the lack of major events for track cyclists and it’s something we need to sit down and discuss as a sport after Rio,” added Cundy.

“Motivation is always going to be a factor when you’re basically having to set yourself training targets in order to keep improving, because the Paralympics are a long way off.

“But now with a year to go it obviously becomes less of an issue because the the paras are around the corner again. This will be my sixth so the whole process is getting pretty familiar.”