|The heritage flame once again lit up Tokyo, the home of the Paralympic games which gets underway on August 24.
Team South departed our shores with 34 participants across seven sporting codes. Some athletes to look out for include Ntando Mahlangu (200m, long jump) an athlete with a leg amputation, who competes with prosthetics in a standing position. Charl du Toit runs the 100m, 200m and 400m with a co-ordination impairment for athletes competing in a standing position.
Para Swimming is an eclectic event for athletes with a physical impairment and athletes with a vision impairment. The greater the number the more functional ability the athlete has.It would include athletes with an intellectual impairment.
Other athletes to look out for :
Christian Sadie (50m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 50m butterfly, 200m)
Hendrik van der Merwe (100m breaststroke)
Katherine Swanepoel (50m freestyle, 50m backstroke, 50m breaststroke, 150m)
Alani Ferreira (400m freestyle, 100m breaststroke)
The Games will also see six athletes who have overcome the most unsurmountable odds to participate in this event, compete for the Refugee Paralympic team who will wear the Asics origami themed kit.
Alia Issa the youngest member of the Syrian ( Refugee Team) and Ibrahim Al Hussein (Syrian swimmer) are amongst many others joining the Paralympic team in Tokyo.
“It is a dream come true for me to don this uniform, “ said Issa in her recent interview with the Paralympic Committee. “ When other refugees see me at the Paralympics I want them to see there is hope,” he added.
Story by Fatima Said