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Cool Jody Cundy soothes his London heartache

By Matt McGeehan

Jody Cundy was wary of a repeat of the London 2012 start which sparked his meltdown before ending four years of torment with Paralympic gold in Rio.

The 37-year-old from Wisbech won the C4/C5 1km time trial in one minute 04.492 seconds to claim his sixth Games gold, 20 years after his first and four years after the expletive-laden rant which changed perceptions of Paralympians.

Cundy, defending the title he won in Beijing and in the event in which he had been unbeaten since 2006, felt he would be granted a restart at London 2012, but officials ruled against him.

After hurling invective and water bottles in the direction of the officials, Cundy refocused on Rio - and delivered last night.

"Up until about three days ago I hadn't really thought about it," Cundy said.

"Then I had people in the village, in the food hall, even in the track centre saying, 'I can't wait to watch you race', 'I can't wait to watch you do what you said you were going to do four years ago'.

"All of a sudden I started feeling the pressure. It's one of the most nervous I've ever been on the start line. So once I got out the start clean, I just tried to build on that start.

"But I was so nervous about getting out the start clean, I didn't get a very good start at all.

"It wasn't my perfect race, but it was the race that took me to my Paralympic gold.

"I was quicker than all my competitors. You didn't even need to use the factoring to win, so I'm properly pleased about that."

The mixed category event was factored in favour of Cundy, who was born with a deformed right foot which was amputated at the age of three.

Jon-Allan Butterworth, who claimed three silvers at London 2012, finished fourth.

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