Campbell wins first medal for Ja
EIGHTEEN-YEAR-old Tanto Campbell won Jamaica's first medal at the 12th Summer Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece yesterday when he threw a personal best 37.04 metres in the discus for a bronze medal.
Mohammad Sadeghimehryar of Iran won gold with a world record throw of 37.52 metres, erasing his old record of 37.36m that he set in Sydney four years ago. A Czech Republic thrower won silver with a 37.30m effort.
Campbell, participating in class F56, was one of 11 athletes in the event. There were two rounds and each athlete got three chances in the first round with the best eight performers advancing to the second round for another three attempts.
Campbell threw 33.39m in his first attempt, had a no-throw on his second and threw 32.97m on his final throw in the first round.
"I was a bit nervous at first but after the first round I was in fifth place and that boosted me," Campbell said.
In the second round, Campbell mustered more confidence and power and significantly improved on his throws. He threw 36.13, 36.82 and his personal best of 37.04m to cop the bronze.
"I feel like I'm in heaven," Campbell proclaimed. "This is my first Paralympics and I made my teammates feel good that I could produce a medal for my country."
Campbell added that his events are over and he will now focus on supporting his teammates to bring home more medals.
Chef de mission Suzanne Harris was equally proud of Campbell.
"For him to medal at his first Paralympics is very positive," Harris said. "He was the youngest on the field and he performed very well."
Jamaica will be in search of more medals today when Vinette Green, F54, participates in discus. Tomorrow, Sylvia Grant, F57, and Alphonso Cunningham, F53, contest the discus.
Grant and Cunningham will compete on Monday in the javelin.