April 2 - America's reigning 100 metres T44 world champion Jerome Singleton has vowed to rebuild his career this year after his crushing disappointment at the London 2012 Paralympic Games where he failed to win a medal.
The 26-year-old single-leg amputee from South Carolina become a major star at the 2011 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Athletics Championships in Christchurch when he sensationally won the 100m T43/44 final as he shocked South African rival Oscar Pistorius for the victory.
That victory saw Singleton head into London 2012 as one of the favourites for gold but in the blue-ribbon race of the Paralympics, the American finished down in sixth in the final as Britain's Jonnie Peacock won gold.
Singleton, who won silver in the event at Beijing 2008 behind Pistorius, admitted it was difficult to come away from London 2012 without a medal but he is now focused on defending his world title at the 2011 IPC World Athletics Championships in Lyon in July.
"That [London 2012] was one of the worst weeks I ever had in terms of competition," said Singleton.
"It really hit home when I was like, 'Man, I have no souvenir, I have nothing to show for the hard work I put in'.
"In 2012, I went from an everyday person, a normal person who's just hanging out with my friends, to just being dressed into the spotlight.
"I was shooting commercials, I was working sponsorship deals and I was getting people to help me with sponsorship deals.
"I was doing maybe two to three interviews a week and that hurt me."
Singleton's first major goal this year will be securing qualification for the 2013 IPC World Athletics Championships at the US Paralympics Track and Field National Championships in June.
Providing he qualifies, it could prove tough for Singleton to defend his world title in France with Peacock and fellow American Richard Browne - who won silver at London 2012 - standing in his way but he claimed he has now completely changed his schedule so he can focus fully on training.
"This year I haven't been doing many interviews," Singleton said.
"I haven't been going to many places.
"I'm just really trying to focus on my goal, and that's just to see how far I can push my body."
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
July 2012: Singleton to lead US charge at London 2012 as team named
May 2012: Singleton unconcerned with Pistorius hype heading into London 2012 clash
December 2011: Singleton hopes new prosthetic leg inspires London 2012 success in battle against Pistorius
November 2011: World champion Singleton predicts golden era for Paralympic sprinting
October 2011: Jerome Singleton - London 2012 will be special but just watch out for my rivalry with Oscar