10:55 04 September 2012
The London Paralympics has been without controversy until Friday afternoon, when British cyclist and defending champion Jody Cundy was disqualified from the C4-5 1km time trial event.
Cundy, the last rider in the event and one of the crowd’s favourites, had a rough start when he stumbled out of the starting block and veered off the track. He immediately raised his right arm to signify that he was asking for a restart.
According to Cundy and his team, the problem was caused by his back wheel slipping when it was released from the starting gate.
Paralympic officials, however, ruled it as rider error and denied his request for a second chance.
Jeers exploded from the crowd in the Velodrome as ‘Did Not Finish’ was flashed next to Cundy’s name on the scoreboard.
Cundy had to be restrained by his coach after he launched into a furious rant after learning that he was demoted to last place.
He was seen throwing a drinks bottle angrily to the floor as he yelled: “I’ve just wasted four f****** years of my f****** life.”
He explained, as quoted by Mail Online: “I fell out of the gate because the f****** gate didn’t open.
“I’ve wasted four years of my life to ride in front of 6,000 people. Do you know what it’s like to dedicate four years of your life…I can’t even express it, there aren’t the f****** words.”
In his anger, Cundy remonstrated with the officials who denied him of a restart, and also pushed aside a German competitor who was meaning to console him.
He was escorted out of the arena but later returned to apologise for his behavior.
His coach, Chris Furber, explained what happened as reported by the Mail Online: “During the countdown I felt the gate didn’t release right.
“I would count that as a mishap. In the mishap the rules require a restart, but the decision lies with the commissaries panel.”
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