Strong team sent to 2020 Tokyo Paralympics
Tuesday, August 24th will see the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics open to much fanfare and celebration.
The team of 34 athletes, as announced this previous Saturday by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), represent just a handful of sporting disciplines including Para Athletics, Archery, Para Cycling, Equestrian, Para Swimming, Table Tennis and Wheelchair Tennis.
In the article “Celebrating athletes with cerebral palsy” (GO! & Express, July 1 2021), we acknowledged the achievements of previous paralympians Charl du Toit and Liezel Gouws both of whom will be competing in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics in the T37 categories of their respective divisions.
Our Para Athlete team consists of Charl du Toit (100m, 200m, 400m); Liezel Gouws (200m and 400m); Ntando Mahlangu (200m, long jump – T61); Dyan Buys (100m, 400m, long jump – T38); Reinhardt Hamman (javelin – F38); Kerwin Noemdo (shot put – F46); Mpumelelo Mhlongo (100m, 200m, long jump – T44); Tebogo Mofokeng (100m, 400m – T62); Tyrone Pillay (shot put – F63); Daniel du Plessis (100m, 400m – T62); Puseletso Michael Mabote (100m, long jump – T63); Ndodomzi Ntutu (100m – T12); Anrune Weyers (100m, 200m, 400m – T47); Sheryl James (100m, 200m, 400m – T37); Simone Kruger (discus – F38); Ntombizanele Situ (javelin – F54); Louzanne Coetzee (1500m, marathon – T11); Johanna Pretorius (100m – T13).
Shaun Anderson (W1) and Philip Coates-Palgrave (Open) will be representing us in Archery.
Our Paracyclists include Pieter du Preez (H2), Ernst van Dyk (H5) and Toni Mould (T1) while we will also be represented by Equestrians Philippa Johnson-Dwyer (dressage – Grade IV) and Cayla van der Walt (dressage – Grade V).
We have four swimmers namely Christian Sadie (50m freestyle S7, 100m backstroke S7, 100m breaststroke SB7, 50m butterfly S7, 200m IM SM 7); Hendrik van der Merwe (100m breaststroke SB5); Katherine Swanepoel (50m freestyle S4, 50m backstroke S4, 50m breaststroke SB3, 150m IM SM4) and Alani Ferreira (400m freestyle S13, 100m breaststroke SB13).
Theo Cogill (Class 10) is our sole table tennis representative while we will have four wheelchair tennis players. Kgothatso Montjane and Mariska Venter will represent us in the women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. Eliphas Maripa and Leon Els will represent South Africa in the men’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles.
Understanding all the categories can be quite daunting, so here are some examples that relate to those who may have cerebral palsy.
In para athletics, the “T” stands for “Track” and the “F” stands for field. T37/F38 refers to athletes who have co-ordination impairments and who compete in a standing position.
As for para cycling, T class is for athletes competing on a tricycle and who have a lack of balance and/or restriction in pedalling due to muscle tension, unco-ordinated movements or involuntary movement. It is sub-divided into classes T1 and T2.
Overcoming a disability can be considered a significant achievement already. Using that disability as a springboard to achieve such a great honour as representing one’s country at the Paralympics is exceptional.
Let us unite as South Africans to support our very own paralympians. #TeamSA
The Fit for Logan Challenge aims to create awareness around cerebral palsy and to raise funds towards Logan Bartle’s existing and future medical expenses.
Help us to help Logan by sponsoring any or all of the participants per kilogram lost in the weight-loss challenge by contacting them telephonically, on WhatsApp or by e-mail.
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Information courtesy of www.teamsa.co.za