The curtain came down at the Toyota South Africa SASAPD (Sports Association for the Physically Disabled) National Para athletics Championships (19-21 March) in Cape Town with 17 year-old Paralympian, Puseletso Mabote setting a second World record in the Men’s Open T63 division.
Mabote, who is a single above-knee prosthetic device-user linked to the Jumping Kids Prosthetic Fund, had his sights set on breaking the Men’s Open 200m *T63 World record; which he did with a time of 00:25.99 on the second day of competition at Green point Stadium.
He was, however, surprised and elated to also set a 400m World record (01:01.85) and a National record (5.70m) in Long Jump in his T63 Paralympic division.
“It was my main mission to break my own world record, which I did, so that proved my body was in good shape. The 400m was actually something of an afterthought. I ran it just to see where my body was. After turning the afterburners on for those 61.85sec, my body is clearly in world-record form”, he told Mark Etheridge for Business Day Live.
The three-day-long track and field competition is an internationally sanctioned event and important qualifying opportunity for athletes aiming to represent their country at the Paris World Championships this year, or at the Paris 2024 Games.
For the junior athletes, participating for the first time at this level, it is a chance to push their physical limits and shine. Here it is less about the medals. It is more about opening a door to an inclusive environment where everyone is supportive and encouraging; where everyone is celebrated, regardless of the result.
“We are proud of our beneficiaries who represented their provinces at this year’s National Para athletics competition. It is a chance for them to become part of a community filled with elite athletes, like Puseletso, to help guide and motivate them to shine their light,” says Jumping Kids Director, Michael Stevens.
Jumping Kids is a registered non-profit organisation founded in 2009 to address the need for prosthetic intervention and holistic, rehabilitative support for disadvantaged children living with lower-limb amputation or mobility challenges.
Facilitating sports-participation opportunities for its beneficiaries, along with providing access to prosthetic equipment and mainstream education, are important pillars of the Jumping Kids mandate.
“We have seen the positive impact that sport can have on the lives of children living with physical challenges. Participation creates a sense of belonging and achievement. Also, the health benefits of remaining physically strong and fit are very important for prosthetic device users down the line,” adds Stevens.
Here are Jumping Kids beneficiaries’ Cape Town 2023 National Championships athletics results.
- Puseletso MABOTE – T63 WR (00:25.99) in Men’s Open 200m
- Puseletso MABOTE – T63 WR (01:01.85) in Men’s Open 400m
- Puseletso MABOTE – T63 SAR (5.70m) in Men’s Open Long Jump
- Jayden VAN HEERDEN – T64 SAR (00:13.62) in Men’s U-17 100m
- Jayden VAN HEERDEN – T64 SAR (00:28.08) in Men’s U-17 200m
- Jayden VAN HEERDEN – T64 SAR (4.40m) in Men’s U-17 Long Jump
- Jayden VAN HEERDEN – T64 SAR (01:03.70) in Men’s U-17 400m
- Kitso MOKOLOMETSA – T61 SAR (00:38.03) in Men’s U-17 200m
- Kitso MOKOLOMETSA – T61 SAR (2.93m) in Men’s U-17 Long Jump
- Teagon COIMBRA – F63 SAR (28.65m) in Men’s U-17 Javelin
- Teagon COIMBRA – F63 SAR (8.65m) in Men’s U-17 Shot Put
- Vhuthuhawe NEMUTANDANI – F61 SAR (14.37m) in Men’s U-14 Javelin
- Vhuthuhawe NEMUTANDANI – F61 SAR (10.48m) in Men’s U-14 Discus
- Donique VAN DEN BERG – T64 SAR (2.17m) in Women’s U-14 Long Jump
- Puseletso Maboto T63 – Gold medal in Men’s Open 100m, Silver in long jump, 400m
- Jayden Van Heerden T64 – four Gold medals in Men’s U-17 100m, 200m, 400m, long jump
- Donique Van Den Berg T64 – three Gold medals in Women’s U-14 100m, 200m, long jump
- Vhuthuhawe Nemutandani F61 – two Gold medals in Men’s U-14 discus, javelin
- Teagon Coimbra F63 – two Gold medals in Men’s U-17 javelin, shot put and Silver in discus
- Kitso Mokolometsa T61 – three Silver medals in Men’s U-17 100m, 200m, long jump
- Matume Malatsi F57 – three Silver medals in Men’s U-20 Seated discus, shot put, javelin
- Mukundi Mashamba T61 – Gold medal in Women’s U-17 100m
A proud result for Jumping Kids sponsored track and field athletes at this year’s National Para athletics event, with many new names and promising talent to keep an eye on in the time to come.
For Mabote, as for all of the Jumping Kids affiliated athletes here mentioned, it will be back to a focus on education along with athletics training regimes to ensure a good all-round achievement for the year.
“It is my goal to medal for South Africa at the Paris 2024 Paralympics and to improve on the 100m Men’s T63 world record next. I am confident that with continued hard work I can achieve this along with a good Grade 11 school result. I look forward to giving it my best,” concludes Mabote.
T63 – T = track athlete, 63 = single, above-knee amputee & prosthetic device user.