Jody Cundy apologises for London 2012 Paralympic Games outbust

PUBLISHED: 18:38 31 August 2012 | UPDATED: 22:53 31 August 2012

Jody Cundy at the Velodrome. Picture by Paul Sanwell/OP Photographic

Jody Cundy at the Velodrome. Picture by Paul Sanwell/OP Photographic

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FIVE-time Paralympic Games gold medallist Jody Cundy has apologised for his public outburst of anger and frustration after having his 1km time trial gold medal dream dashed in controversial style at the Velodrome this afternoon (Friday).

The 33-year-old screamed out in anger, threw a water bottle to the ground and shouted out a few choice words after his hopes of a re-start, after he stumbled out of the blocks and raised his hand as if to signal a problem with the starter, were ended.

After intense discussions between his team and the officials, it was deemed that the disrupted start was down to ‘rider error’ and Cundy had failed to record a time.

The controversial decision left the former University of Hertfordshire student seething,

In a swiftly arranged press conference after racing had finished for the day at the Velodrome, Cundy said: “Today just wasn’t my day.

“I went into the race feeling really good, I was last off so the pressure was on me to put in the performance of a lifetime.

“Being world record holder I knew I had the time in me, I’m in the absolute form of my life I don’t think there’s been a session in the last few weeks when I haven’t got a PB.

“I knew I was in the shape to win the gold medal.

“I went to the start gate just the same as every other time, and the gun went off and I didn’t go anywhere whether the start gate held me, something moved, as I came out the back wheel slipped.

“I held my hand up to show a mishap and I pulled off the track and came around.

“My coaches took the bike off me, cleaned the wheels and stuff ready to go to the next stage to go back in the start gate.

“When I was waiting it all started to go wrong.”

Cundy described the point at which doubts he would be able to re-start set in.

“I just sat there waiting for the signal to start to ride again, in the corner of my eye I could see the time running on the board so I knew things were not quite right,” he added.

“The next thing I saw the scoreboard said DNF next to my name which is definitely not what I wanted to hear and I saw my coaches and managers had all moved off to the commissars, to which point my manager gave me the throat signal and that was it I wouldn’t get a re-start.”

Clearly still distressed by the decision, he added: “That was my one chance at a time trial at a home Paralympic Games over.

“To which point I lost it, I’m not proud of that.

“The amount of hard work and effort that goes into getting to this position where I can be on top of my game and perform at the very best I can.

“I was pretty angry and said a few choice words again and again pretty much at the top of my voice, I had nowhere to go, I didn’t know what to do.

“The anger and frustration was coming out all at the same time.

“I have had to apologise to the IPC and UCI and all my friends, spectators and all the people that were here that witnessed it.”

Looking back on the disaster, GB coach Chris Furber said: “Essentially we put Jody’s bike in the gates as we normally do and we were happy with it.

“Jody came, got on his bike and during the countdown I felt the gates didn’t release properly.

“It held him and that’s what made him turn down the track.

“I would count that as a mishap and the rules say that a mishap requires a re-start, but the decision rises to the commissars’ panel.”

However, UCI technical delegate Louis Barbeau did not feel there was anything wrong with the gate and that the mis-hap was due to rider error.

He said: “The GB team claimed there was something wrong with the gate - there was nothing wrong with the gate. It is checked regularly.

“It is tough for the athlete. He has trained hard for three years. I can appreciate his frustration.

“This was a man perceived by many to be a gold medal contender. It is a sad situation and I can sympathise.”


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