OAK GROVE COLLEGE student Jordan Okonta has been crowned high jump world champion in the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles.
The Worthing Special Olympic athlete was part of the Great Britain team at the Games, which were opened by First Lady Michelle Obama at the opening ceremony, which also included pop stars Nicole Scherzinger, Stevie Wonder and Avril Lavinge.
Okonta started his competition with divisioning events in the 400m, high jump and 4x100m relay. Coping well in the hot conditions, he came third in the 400m, first in the high jump with a personal best of 1.70m but the relay team needed some work.
The start of the medal competitions was a few days later and Okonta’s opening event was the 400m, where he was drawn in the fastest final and, in the heat of the day, he ran a great race to finish eighth in 57.55sec.
After a day’s rest, it was the high jump competition which was a close contest between Okonta and a young Slovenian athlete. Okonta showed great focus as he cleared every height at the first attempt and won gold with 1.65m.
The final competition was the 4x100m and Okonta ran a great third leg to help the team move from fifth to third as they won the bronze medal.
All of the events took place at the Locker stadium at the University of California and Okonta spent 14 days in total in Downton Los Angeles.
He is now preparing for the Sainsbury’s School Games, which are on Sunday. He found out he had been selected while in Los Angeles and his focus is on the long jump as he tries to get the 6m qualifiyng distance, which will give him a chance of making the Paralympic team.
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