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Gold medallist Hilton has high hopes for SA Paralympians

By Mark Etheridge
in London

Triple Beijing 2008 Paralympics gold medallist Hilton Langenhoven says the team for the 2012 Games are ready to do their nation proud.

Langenhoven was talking as Team South Africa’s Paralympians were welcomed to London at an official South Africa House function in Trafalgar Square on Friday.

Langenhoven won gold in the 200-metre and long jump and pentathlon events in Beijing and says the whole team are ready for action.

“We left Johannesburg very excited but in the last few days the team have become quieter and more focused in the village.

“It’s so nice to stand her quietly confident and know that we represent our lovely nation, continent and our own families.

“We’re ready to rock our socks off to do everyone proud. We’ll now support each other during the Games and whatever happens we will know that we have done our best.”

The team were welcomed by resident political counsellor Mandy Solomon. “It’s been rather quiet since August 13 when most people left London after the Olympics so we’re really looking forward to the Paralympics, possibly even moreso than the Olympics.”

In his address, HIgh Commissioner Dr Zola Skweyiya said he was honoured to be hosts to the Paralympic team. “There’s a spirit of joy and celebration and this is a tremendous opportunity to share this moment with Team SA.

“Each and every one of you has worked incredibly hard to be here, Your journey here was not an easy one and from the bottom of our hearts we thank you for the discipline that brings you here.

“While thousands will cheer you on here millions throughout the world will be urging you to push on. Thanks to Standard Bank for hosting this event and to SASCOC for facilitating your drive here from the village.

“I am sure that the exceptional talent in this room will see gold raining down during the Paralympics.”


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