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SA on track in NZL
- Updated: January 15, 2011
Team South Africa arrived safely in New Zealand this week and have settled down in preparation for the IPC Athletics World Championships.
The championships take place between 21-30 January, meaning that the South Africans have given themselves plenty of time to acclimatise and set their sights on doing well, writes Mark Etheridge.
A team of 35 will do duty for South Africa, spearheaded by big names like double leg amputee Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius and triple Beijing Olympics gold medallist Hilton Langenhoven.
Said team manager Dion Bishop from Christchurch: “We’ve settled in at our Hotel in Christchurch) and are very comfortable. The team is in good spirit and now adjusting to the climate and time zone.
“We’ve been out to the training venue for two days now and the athletes are beginning to aclimatise. The media in New Zealand has shown a great interest in Oscar and he’s done quite a few media interviews and receiving a lot of exposure here.
“The team is doing well and is focused on the goals that lie ahead. The athletes will be training and putting in the hard work up to the days that they compete. We have an an excellent team of coaches and assistants who are working with and assisting the athletes.
Double arm amputee Samkelo Radebe, a silver medallist in the 100m sprint at the recent Commonwealth Games in India, is also part of the team.
Radebe had expressed concern over his shin splints in the months leading up to the championships but said on Friday: “The training has been good and the shins are under control at the moment. I must say it’s a very chilled place here, nice and laid back. A bit windy and chilly but the hospitality has been just great.”