Meet the South African Paralympians

 

Fresh from the golden feeling and our best return of Olympic Medals at London 2012, South Africa will embark on the Paralympic Games in London starting tomorrow. And it is in the Paralympics that South Africa have truly thrived. In the post isolation era, South Africa have collected a mammoth 139 medals including 63 golds, 37 silver and 39 bronze. This year they have place a target of 40 medals, which is more likely than our 12 in the Olympics. South Africa is a country constantly on the rise in the Paralympic Games and our 6th placed finish in 2008 will surely be tested again this year. Of course it is only fitting that we introduce you to the team that will carry the hopes of the nation in the 2012 version of the games.

Athletics
Tshebo Bebe – 400m T46, 4 x 100m relay T42-46
Dyan Buis – 100 & 200m T38, Long Jump F37-38
Andrea Dalle Ave – 100m T37, Long Jump F37-38
Pieter du Preez – 100m T51
Charl du Toit – 100 & 800m T37
Arnu Fourie – 100 & 200m T44, 4 x 100m relay T42-46
Ilse Hayes – Long Jump F13
Hilton Langehoven – 200 & 400m T12
Anrune Liebenberg – 100 & 200m T46
Michael Louwrens – Shot Put F57-58
Tebogo Mokgalagadi – 100 & 200m T35
Jan Nehro (Guide: Duane Fortuin) – 5000m in T11
Zandile Nhlapo- Javelin F33-34, Shot Put F32-34
Jonathan Ntutu – 100 & 200m T13
Oscar Pistorious – 100,200 & 400m T44, 4 x 100m relay T42-46
Annika Pretorious – 100m T13
Samkelo Radebe – 4 x 100m relay T42-46
Casper Schutte – Javelin F42
Union Sekailwe – 200 & 400m T38
Zanele Situ – Javeilin F54-46
Zivan Smith – 4 x 100m relay T42-46
Marius Stander – 400m T38
Duane Strydom – Discuss F35-36
Fanie van der Merwe – 100 & 200m T37
Chantelle van Zyl – Discuss F35-36, Javelin F35-36

Manager: Dion Bishop
Coaches: Suzanne Ferreira, Zelda Hansen, Hennie Koekemoer, Karin le Roux, Ampie Louw
Team Assistant: Neels Matthyser
Helper: Illse du Preez

Jabu’s View: In 2008 the Athletics produced 10 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals. In 2012 we can expect a few more. Oscar has just come off a sensational season that saw him compete in the London Olympics and we would be surprised if he didnt deliver 3 or 4 medals. Hilton Langehoven will once again be a likely medalist along with Ilse Hayes and Fanie van der Merwe. I am really excited by the relay team too. In my mind Teboho Mokgalagadi is also a huge favourite. Expect a host of medals from our athletes for sure!

Cycling
Roxy Burns – Womens Time Trial C4, Womens individual pursuit C4, Womens time trial C4/5
Madre Carinus – Mixed Road Race T1/2, Mixed Time Trial T1/2
Stuart McCreadie – Mens Road Race H2, Mens Time Trial H2
Jaco Nel – Mens Road Race C2, Mens Time Trial C1/2, Mens individual pursuit C2, Mens time trial C1/2/3
Ernst van Dyk – Mens Road Race H4, Mens Time Trial H4
Gerhard Viljoen – Mixed Road Race T1/2, Mixed Time Trial T1/2

Manager: Mike Burns
Coach: Ricky Kulsen
Mechanic: Pieter Jansen

Jabu’s View: Headed up by the legend Ernst van Dyk who has won a lot of medals at various events including the Paralympics. They won only one gold medal at the 2008 Games, but the likes of Jaco Nel and Roxy Burns will be doing their best to add to that tally this year.

Equestrian
Marion Milne – Individual Championship Test, Individual Freestyle test, Team Test Ib
Anthony Dawsom – Individual Championship Test, Individual Freestyle test, Team Test II
Wendy Moller – Individual Championship Test, Individual Freestyle test, Team Test II
Philipa Johnson – Individual Championship Test, Individual Freestyle test, Team Test IV

Manager: Tracey Cumming
Coach: Chris Haazen
Vet: Sheelah Higgerty
Grooms: Enoch Cele, Anton Chimbuanda, Elizabeth Newsome, Terri Smith

Jabu’s View: Its refreshing seeing a South African equestrian team shorn of all the drama of the Olympic team. Philipa Johnson will once again be amongst the favourites for the medal contenders. Wendy Moller is an exciting debutant and will represent South Africa with great pride in London

Rowing
Sandra Khumalo- Womens Single Sculls

Manager/Coach – Marco Galeone

Jabu’s View: There is a feel good factor on watersports in South Africa and Sandra will be very keen on building on that. She has only been rowing for two years but I would seriously put money on her finishing on the podium in London. She has the talent to do so!

Swimming
Charl Bouwer – 50, 100 & 400m Freestyle S13, 100m Butterfly S13, 200 IM SM13
Achmat Hassan – 50, 100 & 400m Freestyle S10, 100m Butterfly S10, 20 IM SM10
Hendri Herbst – 50, 100 & 400m Freestyle S11, 100m Backstroke S11
Kevin Paul – 50, 100 & 400m Freestyle S10, 100m Breaststroke SB9, 200 IM SM10
Tadhg Slattery – 100m Breastroke SB5
Renette Bloem – 50 & 100m Freestyle S11, 100m Breaststroke SB11, 200 IM SM9
Natalie du Toit – 50, 100 & 400m Freestyle S9, 100m Backstroke S9, 100m Breaststroke SB8, 100m Butterfly S9, 200 IM SM9 
Emily Gray – 100 & 400m Freestyle S9, 100m Backstroke S9, 200 IM SM9
Marike Naude – 50 & 100m Freestyle S13, 100m Breaststroke SB13
Shireen Shapiro – 50, 100 & 400m Freestyle S10, 100m Backstroke S10, 100m Butterfly S10

Manager: Queeneth Ndlovu
Coach: Karoly Toas
Coach/Tapper: Karin Hugo
Tapper/Helper: Eeden Meyer

Jabu’s View: Much like the Olympic squad was built on the success in the pool, so to the Paralympians will look to the pool for the inspiration and momentum. Of course there is not much left to be said about Natalie du Toit, but going into her final games, the 10 time gold medalist will look for a golden ending to her glittering career. The team will definitely be the backbone of Team South Africa and we can expect medals from Natalie, Charl Bouwer, Shireen Shapiro, Tadhg Slattery and Kevin Paul to give Team SA a swimming start to the Games. I would not be surprised, and think its a fair goal, if SA got ten medals in the pool!

Wheelchair Basketball
Justin Govender, Siphamandla Gumbi, Stuart Jellows, Kyle Louw, Luvuyo Mbande, Gift Mooketsi, Richard Nortje, Kobus Oeschger, Marius Papenfus, Marcus Retief, Jaco Velloen


Manager: Willie Riechert
Coach: Patrick Fick
Assistant coach: Shadrack Moepeng
Technical coach: Franck Belen

Jabu’s View: South Africa will be happy to have qualified for the event after missing out to Algeria for the 2010 World Championships. They have a tough assignment as they will meet World Champions Australia and third best side United States. Much like the SA Hockey sides at the Olympics, the Mens volleyball side will be asked to perform with heart and pride and should they win anything from the event, we will love it!

Wheelchair Tennis
Kgothaso Montjane – Womens Singles
Lucas Sithole – Quad Singles
Evans Maripa, Sydwell Mathonsi – Mens Doubles

Manager/coach: Holger Losch
Assistant Coach: Khotso Matshego

Jabu’s View:  Sydwell and Kgothaso attend another Games and will be looking to build on their experience from 2008 to push for the medals this time around. I personally am very excited by Lucas Sithole and really hope that he can perform like he did when winning the Melbourne Open earlier this year.

General Management Team
Chef de Mission: Pieter Badenhorst
Project manager: Vinesh Maharaj
Manager (logistics): Clifford Cobers
Logistics: Madira Sehlapelo
Manager (athletes services): Chantelle Jardim
Athlete services: Dumisani Mtwa
Chief medical officer: Wayne Derman
Chief physiotherapist: Grace Hughes
Doctor: Paul Maphoto
Physiotherapists: Given Baloyi, Edwin Bodha, Greshne Davids, Shantal Edwards, Dan Ntseke, Evah Ramashala
Classifier: Tarina van der Stockt

After the way the country turned around to back Team South Africa at the Olympic Games, lets get behind the team as they quest to improve on their 6th placed finish in Beijing. Proudly South African!

 

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