TRANSPLANT GAMES: Cave's five golds "wildly beyond" his expectations
MATT Cave had branded his golden haul from the British Transplant Games as “wildly beyond” his expectations.
Cave, a Goatacre cricketer, only underwent a kidney transplant in November last year after spending four months on dialysis with his kidneys functioning at around two percent of their normal capability.
But his recovery has been extraordinary and, at the Games in Sheffield over the weekend, the 31-year-old reaped the rewards of his mental perseverance and time in the gym with five gold medals in the 100m, 200m, javelin, cricket ball throw and cricket six-a-side tournament.
“It was wildly beyond what I expected,” he told the Advertiser.
“I felt I had a reasonable chance of maybe one gold medal, maybe a second if things went well and one or two other medals - but five golds in total is just quite shocking and unbelievable.
“Four of them were in individual events - the 100m, 200m, the javelin and the cricket ball throw - and I also got one in the six-a-side cricket tournament.
“It was reasonably challenging.
“If things had been a little different I could probably only come away with one gold, although the cricket ball throw I did win by five metres.
“With the javelin I was in the lead after each round but I kept having to improve round by round to keep my lead. In the 100 and 200m I won by 0.2secs which was close enough.”
Cave has had to force himself to keep up with a strict physical routine which has allowed him to get in the kind of shape he needed to be to challenge with the best the Transplant Games has to offer.
Now that he has managed just that he intends to get back in the gym to ensure he keeps hold of his titles in 2014.
“It’s made the time in the gym or on the bike in the run-up to it worthwhile,” he said.
“I forced myself to go that extra five, 10 or 15 minutes and pushed myself harder and it’s all worthwhile now.
“I was a disadvantage against a lot of the other competitors in terms of the time I’ve had to prepare for it - my transplant was so recent - and all being well I should be fitter and stronger and quicker to go back to the Games next year and compete to a higher standard.
“I’m the baby of the age-group in the 30 to 39-year-olds, so I’ll be going back to defend all of my titles next year.”
You can join the Organ Donor Register by calling the NHS Donor Line on 03001232323 or by texting ‘SAVE’ to 62323.
Information on organ donation can be found online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk.
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