Swimmer makes waves in cycling
PARALYMPIC swimming star Jody Cundy has set several world records in the pool but now he has set another world record – as a cyclist. Cundy, 27, from Walpole St Andrew, has represented Great Britain at the highest level as a swimmer but now he is set to e
PARALYMPIC swimming star Jody Cundy has set several world records in the pool but now he has set another world record - as a cyclist.
Cundy, 27, from Walpole St Andrew, has represented Great Britain at the highest level as a swimmer but now he is set to exchange the pool for the velodrome and compete as an international cyclist.
The new world record was set in the heats of the team sprint event at the Visa Paralympic World Cup, in Manchester, at the weekend.
Together with team-mates Mark Bristow and Darren Kenny - double gold medallist in Athens - Cundy went on to win a gold medal, despite never having practiced with the team before.
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It has been less than a year since Cundy started to get involved in competitive Paralympic cycling but he has enjoyed such success that he is on the verge of ending his swimming career.
Cundy, who now lives in Swansea, said: "I used to cycle as a child but I didn't get back on a bike until August, when I attended an open day in Newport.
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"I had a go on the track and I absolutely loved it but while I was there, the British cycling team coach told me that I should be in the international squad."
He added: "It wasn't until two months later that I had the chance to compete in the national championships, so I thought I would give it a go."
Cundy was loaned a racing bike by a friend of his flatmate and then proceeded to break the British record in the one-lap 'flying 200'.
He said: "I was amazed to find out that I had broken the record, so I joined the Newport Peugeot team and continued training."
Last week Cundy set another national record in the 1km at the Newport Grand Prix and then followed it up with the world record in Manchester.
The LC2 classification team sprint is raced over 750m and each rider takes turns to lead the three lap race.
The world record of 51.345 seconds, set in the afternoon heats, was followed by the gold medal-winning victory over Australia in the final.
The success has made Cundy consider his future in Paralympic swimming. He said: "It is the swimming World Championships in December and the more I think about it, the more I think I should compete and try and defend my title.
"It would be a good way to retire from the sport but I intend to be cycling by the end of the year."
He added: "There are many world-class youngsters coming through in swimming and I am regarded as one of the older competitors.
"However, I was one of the youngest people at the Visa Paralympic World Cup and it was a lot of fun to take part in.