Monday, 30 August 2021

Tokyo: Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, has congratulated team South Africa for winning three medals so far at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020.

Athletes Anrune Weyers and Ntando Mahlangu emerged as the first pair to collect gold medals out of the 38 athletes who are currently representing South Africa at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

“We are extremely proud of Team South Africa and what they have achieved so far at the Paralympics. This is a clear indication that there are no limits when you set your mind to something. We believed they could and they did. Furthermore, we will continue to support them on their ongoing journey,” the Minister said on Saturday.

Competing in the T47, 400m Women’s Race Weyers emerged victorious and finished first by clocking 56.05 defeating Liesbli Marina Andrade (Venezuela) and Anastasia Solovieva (Russia), coming second and third respectively.

In the men’s 200m T61 sprint, Mahlangu was able to collect gold and broke his previously self-set world record after finishing. First clocking 7.17.

He was then followed by both Leon Schafer (Germany) and Daniel Wagner (Denmark) who finished second and third respectively.

“Mahlangu’s victory is equally accompanied by the self-set world record which was long overdue. His self-set path emerged when he was only 14, after winning a silver medal in the men’s 200m at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. In 2017, he won a silver medal in the men’s 200m at the World Championships. Two years later, he was a world champion. This year, he set a world record,” the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture said.

Visually impaired athlete Louzanne Coetzee, from Bloemfontein; in Free State, won silver in the T11 1500m, setting the new African record.

Coetzee finished second behind Mexico’s Monica Rodriguez Saavedra (4:37.40) and clocked 4min 40.96 seconds.

“I have been competing for eight years and this is my first medal. I am overwhelmed. I couldn’t have asked for a better race, a better guide, better preparation. I’m very thankful for how things went down,” Coetzee said.

The Minister said he was excited to see the athletes putting all efforts to increase the medal tally.

“We are watching very closely what is happening at the Tokyo Paralympics and we are excited to see that the athletes are putting all efforts to increase our medal tally. We wish them success and we are looking forward to celebrating more of such achievements.” the Minister said on Monday.