Tokyo Paralympics 2020: Jonathan Broom-Edwards aiming for gold medal in T64 high-jump
Jonathan Broom-Edwards had admitted that he’s in ‘really good shape’ ahead of his bid to win gold in the T64 high-jump at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
The 2020 games, which were postponed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, began on Wednesday.
However, the former Clere School pupil will have to wait a little before his competition begins on Friday, September 3.
“I am extremely excited for it all because I am in really good shape,” he said. “I have a few more major sessions in the next week and then it will be all about tapering off before the big day.
“I am trying to do all the things I need to, even if that means lying horizontal for a few hours of the day and filling up my time with studying so I can keep my mind occupied.”
Although Broom-Edwards doesn’t compete until the end of next week, he flew out to Tokyo earlier to ensure he had as much preparation as possible.
“I have a little bit of time extra because my personal coach, Graham Ravenscroft, wasn’t able to travel to Tokyo because of covid restrictions.
“So my plyometric coach, Aston Moore, has been looking after me and because he was going into the village early with some of his athletes, I opted in to going early too so we could do our sessions together.”
Since arriving in Japan, the high-jumper has explained how good the atmosphere as he gears up for his second Paralympic Games, with his other appearance coming in Rio when he won silver in 2016.
“There is a great buzz around the village and around the Great Britain block in particular. The general atmosphere and the Japanese volunteers are so welcoming.
“They are so helpful, it is being run so efficiently and it is already a great games.
“The track access has been brilliant and I recently came into the Olympic village and the set-up is amazing.”
With coronavirus restrictions still in place in Tokyo, the Great Britain para-athlete explained that it would be tough getting out to see other events across the games.
“For me to travel to the stadium, it would involve a lot of walking and travelling and I wouldn’t want to do anything to the detriment of my own competition.
“So I will probably leave it all in terms of being there, but I will certainly be watching from my block.
“We have a holding camp and the organisers did very well in separating us from the general public in the hotel we were in.”
There are more athletes with Newbury connections who are competing over in Japan as they hope to bring back some medals to Berkshire.
Kayla Bell, from Thatcham, is representing Great Britain at a Paralympic Games for the very first time.
The 24-year-old has been selected in the women’s wheelchair basketball team and they’ll be aiming for gold as they are currently second in the world rankings.
Elsewhere, para-powerlifter Louise Sugden will be bidding for a medal when she competes in the up to 86kg category on Monday.
The 36-year-old is competing in her third Paralympic Games, but this is her first time as a para-powerlifter.
Sugden represented Great Britain in wheelchair basketball during the Beijing Games and the London Games in 2008 and 2012 respectively.
She is the defending European Champion and is one of the leading contenders to pick up gold in Japan.
Another Newbury competitor bidding for a medal is shooter Tim Jeffery.
He earned a Paralympic quota place for Great Britain in February 2019 when he claimed gold at the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Al Ain, Oman.
It will be the second Games that Jeffery has competed at having been to Rio in 2016, where he finished 10th in the qualification for the R5 Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH2.