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Cunningham mines gold at Parapan American
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November 16, 2011
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Cunningham mines gold at Parapan American
Jamaica's Alphanso Cunningham, gold medallist in the men's F51-53 discus, at the medal ceremony on Monday at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. - Contributed

Men's F51-53 discus thrower, Alphanso Cunningham, mined Jamaica's first gold on Monday evening at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

In a fine display of expertise, composure and professionalism, Cunningham threw the discus 25.18 metres, relegating Americans Steven Scott (22.14m) and Leon Carlos (21.46m) to the silver and bronze medal, respectively.

While his teammates beamed with pride at their country's victory, Cunningham described his win as "mission accomplished". Fellow athlete and teammate Tanto Campbell - himself no stranger to the medal podium at international championships - exclaimed, "You are de boss!"

Chef de Mission, Christopher Samuda, was equally impressed with Cunningham's dominant performance, describing it as "an Emperor's throw".

Kevon Reid gave a valiant performance in the men's shot put, F54-56, to place fourth (9.91m) behind winner Scott Winkler of the United States, Alan Noriega of Mexico, and Leonardo Diaz of Cuba and will now focus on the javelin to compensate for narrowly missing a medal.

In the men's T46 800m, Jamaica's representative, David Bascoe, was positioned fourth on the final bend and challenging for the silver or bronze when he unfortunately suffered a hamstring injury, which caused him to collapse to the track on the turn to the home stretch. That event was won by Samuel Colmenares of Venezuela in 2:00.13, with Wuillian Bruceng, also of Venezuela, clocking 2:01.31, and Mario Hernandez of Mexico, at 2:03.41, coming in second and third, respectively.

It was a very creditable performance for Jamaica on day one of track and field and the expectation is that the national team will improve its performance in the coming days.

+ Wexico

This afternoon, Tanto Campbell, Shane Hudson and David Brascoe will be in action. Campbell will compete in the F54 discus final while Hudson is down for the 200m heats (T46) and 400m semi-finals (T46). Brascoe will also compete in the T46 400m semi-finals.

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