Maine para-athlete captures bronze medal at world championships

Posted Aug. 03, 2013, at 9:33 a.m.
Josh Kennison, an elite para-athlete from South Paris, Maine, recently won a bronze medal in the 100-meter sprint in the International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France.
Courtesy of Kristel Wagner
Josh Kennison, an elite para-athlete from South Paris, Maine, recently won a bronze medal in the 100-meter sprint in the International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France.

Josh Kennison, an elite para-athlete from South Paris, won the bronze medal in the 100-meter sprint at the recent International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, according to a news release from Kristel Wagner.

Kennison finished the race in 11.93 seconds, earning the first world championship medal in his career.

Nearly 1,100 athletes from 99 countries competed in the IPC Athletics World Championships July 19-28. Kennison was one of six competitors in his division for the 100-meter sprint, placing third just behind fellow American Blake Leeper, who placed second.

The winner of the race, Alan Fonteles Oliveira of Brazil, set a new world record with a time of 10.80.

Kennison also competed in the 200-meter sprint, placing fifth with a time of 24.12.

He qualified for the World Championships at the U.S. Paralympic Nationals in San Antonio, Texas, and is now focusing on training for the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

“This was my first world meet, and I was just excited to go across the world to compete. Bringing home a medal was a plus,” Kennison said in the release. “I’m excited to get back into training in a few weeks and get ready for the 2014 season.”

Kennison’s future goals include becoming the best U.S. sprinter in his class, medaling at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships and also winning a medal at Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Kennison will take some time off from training to visit Camp No Limits in Wales, an organization he has been involved with since 2005 that supports children and families with limb loss. Kennison also works with the Never Say Never Foundation to provide support for amputees and is a recipient of the 2010 Amway Hero Award.

Despite being born without feet, arms, tongue or half of his jaw, Kennison became a member of the U.S. Paralympic Track Team. He then won four medals at the 2010 Endeavor Games, and broke the world record for the long jump with a distance of 5.54 meters at the 2013 Desert Challenge Games.

“You can do anything you set your mind to as long as you have the right mindset,” he said.

Fans can connect with Kennison at Norway Savings Bank located at 261 Main Street in Norway at noon to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, when he will be signing autographs.

Norway Savings Bank sponsors Kennison at his athletic competitions.

Kennison’s results from the World Championships are available for viewing at http://www.paralympic.org/events/lyon-2013/live-results.

For more information about the International Paralympic Committee Athletics World Championships, visit http://www.paralympic.org/Events/Lyon2013.

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