Records tumble on day one of physically disabled champs

PJ Klopper of the Free State on his way to breaking a new record of 1.5m in the U17 high jump at the Toyota SA Sports for the Physically Disabled National Championships at the Westbourne Oval on Saturday
RECORD JUMP: PJ Klopper of the Free State on his way to breaking a new record of 1.5m in the U17 high jump at the Toyota SA Sports for the Physically Disabled National Championships at the Westbourne Oval on Saturday
Image: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

The opening day of competition in the Toyota SA Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (SASAPD) National Championships at Westbourne Oval in Gqeberha on Friday started in record-breaking style on the track and in the field with four new continental bests.

Paralympic hopefuls Obed Lekhehle, Yane van der Merwe, Charne Felix and Puseletso Mabote reminded selectors that they would have a hard job in choosing Team SA, who will compete at the rescheduled 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Unlike qualifying for the Olympic Games, where meeting an A qualification standard gives an athlete a spot at the Games, the Paralympic Games gives countries slots, earned at specific international competitions and through a global high performance ranking list.

SA have just 10 slots and SASAPD have said in their selection policy that they will select athletes that are realistic medal contenders and have a chance of reaching the final at the Paralympic Games.

The Visually Impaired judo competition at the games in Gqeberha was the first tournament for the sport in the country since the national lockdown and it offered judokas valuable time on the mat.

Paralympic hopefuls in the B2 category, Ndyebo Lamani (66kg) and Jacque Joubert (U81kg), made the most of their first opportunity to compete since 2019 with both participating in three bouts, including a fight between each another to test their fitness.

The two will be travelling to Baku, Azerbaijan, in May for a Paralympic qualification tournament, which will be the penultimate chance to better their world rankings and, in turn, earn a spot at the games in Tokyo.

The championships finish on Monday.

Athletics records on Friday:

Obed Lekhehle (FS) Long Jump Open men F42 — 3.65 (Provisional Africa record); Yane van der Merwe (GP) Discus Open women F44 — 29.92 (Provisional Africa record); Charne Felix (WP) Long Jump Open women T44 — 4,37 (Provisional Africa record); Puseletso Mabote (GP) Long Jump U17 men T62 — 4,84 (Provisional Africa record); Kitso Malokometsa (GP) Long Jump U17 men T62 — 2,78 (Provisional RSA record); Thato Mthembu (GP) Long Jump U17 men T46 — 4,89 (Provisional RSA record); Kim Macdonald (GP) Long Jump U20 women T64 — 2,84 (Provisional RSA record); PJ Klopper (FS) Javelin U17 men F13 — 19.68 (Provisional RSA record); PJ Klopper (FS) Long Jump U17 men F13 — 4,08 (Provisional RSA record); Emile Burgers (GP) Javelin Open men F64 — 51.13 (Provisional RSA record); Joshua van Staden (WP) Shotput Open men F41 — 7.08 (Provisional RSA record); Obed Lekhehle (FS) High Jump Open men F42 — 1.55 (Equalled RSA record); Andrea Haywood (WP) Discus U20 women F38 — 19.42 (Provisional RSA record); Phila du Plessis (KZN) Shotput U17 women F46 — 8.40 (Provisional RSA record); Ayanbulela Langa (EP) Shotput U17 women F34 — 5.10 (Provisional RSA record).

— SASAPD Media

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