DUBAI, UAE – At the World Para Athletics Championships, shot putter Greg Stewart wants to follow the same pattern that helped him win a silver medal this past August at the Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru.
“The one huge thing I learned from Peru is just focusing on the task at hand,’’ he said following a training session in Dubai this week.
“This is still a journey. It’s the process. The biggest thing I’m trying to focus on is one day at a time, one step at a time, and go out and have fun.’’
Lima was a showdown between the top two throwers in the world in the F46 disability category. The USA’s Joshua Cinnamo retained his number-one world ranking winning the gold with a 16.49-metre toss compared to 14.96 for the 7-foot-2 Stewart.
The 33-year-old, from Kamloops, B.C., enjoyed a great summer heading into the Games with four victories in four meets and was ranked number-one in the world at one point. He set the Canadian record at 15.82 metres at the B.C. Track and Field Championships in July.
Before becoming a thrower, Stewart, born missing part of his left arm, was a member of Canada’s national sitting volleyball team highlighted by bronze medals at the 2007 and 2011 Parapan American Games. He also won three world titles with the men’s Para standing volleyball team. When he attended Thomson Rivers University he was a star on the varsity basketball team and named USport defensive player of the year in 2011.
‘’I’m pretty excited about the worlds,’’ he said. ‘’I’ve been thinking about it a lot the last couple of days since I arrived in Dubai reflecting on my previous experiences with the sitting volleyball team.’’
Dylan Armstrong, the Olympic bronze medallist in the shotput at the 2008 Games in Beijing, is Stewart’s coach.
‘’You can’t ask for a better coach,’’ Stewart said. ‘’His words of wisdom are always incredible, he’s a very credible source and I’m just grateful to have him in my corner, or in my circle in this case.’’
Stewart is not the only Kamloops-trained athlete going to the worlds in Dubai. Josh Farrell, who finished second to Stewart at the Canadian championships, will also be competing.
The Para athletics worlds are the largest Para sport event to be held before the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and run from November 7 to 15 in Dubai. More than 1,400 athletes from almost 120 nations are expected.
Viewers will be able to follow the action via the free CBC Gem streaming service, cbcsports.ca, the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices, and CPC Facebook page, as well as the Radio-Canada Sports app and radio-canada.ca/sports.
For the broadcast schedule, please visit Paralympic.ca/Paralympic-Super-Series.