media_artricles :: 2017
Stewart aims for gold, world recordsElizabeth Gonzales :: Newsday :: 16.07.2017
PARALYMPICS GOLD medallist Akeem Stewart has set his eyes on breaking the shot put record when he competes at the Paralympics Committee World Champions h ips which begins on Thursday at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.
Stewart arrived in England on Sunday and is looking to make a big impact at the Championships, which is the second biggest event after the Paralympics, but only consists of track and field events.
Stewart said this is his second time participating in the Games and will be vying for honours in the shot put, javelin and discus.
Although he has trained hard for each event, he is expecting major success in the shot put.
"My expectation for this game is to break the shot put record __ that is definitely the event I'm focusing on because it's the first time I'm doing it at the international level as a Para-athlete.
"I believe my effort will make me return with multiple medals.
"I feel certain to bring gold in the shot put event but I can't say what other colours I will bring in the other events." Stewart, who bagged two medals at the Paralympics - gold and silver - said he has not had the best of preparation but has made the best of the circumstances.
"I haven't been getting much competition or training home because the stadium was closed for two months before I left to travel to London, and it was a bit tough on me.
I don't want to say that would be something that would hamper my performance but on the day of competition, I'm going out to do my best." Stewart will be without his coach Wade Franklyn as he will be heading to the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas with CARIFTA U-17 javelin record holder Tyriq Horsford.
Stewart, still disappointed about the lack of support from the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) after winning gold and breaking the world record twice in one night at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, hopes another gold medal and record will change that.
"I thought after my performance in Rio things would have been better for me this year but I guess I was dreaming.
"Things did not happen the way I hoped for it to happen when I returned after bringing home a gold medal for my country because training equipment and training facilities were not offered.
"I was not told, 'Akeem you will get all you need so we want to see you continue to perform'.
Things was not like that, all the expenses, I covered them on my own.
"I had to spend my money for physiotherapy, I guess it's all a part of this game and I can't complain because when I do, they'll say I'm complaining too much.
"I am an athlete and I'm sacrificing so much, I should have expectations of something coming to benefit and support me.
I will continue to prove that I am a consistent person because anything I set my mind to I can accomplish it. I know I have a lot to prove this year. Although I know my efforts will not make a change, I'm hoping for one." He, however, did express gratitude to Peter Granville, Supervisor in the Division of Sport, for some assistance towards helping him get ready for the Championships.