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Andrea aces African long jump record

South African athlete Andrea Ave Dalle competes on July 20, 2013 in the Men's long jump - T37/38 during the Lyon 2013 Paralympic Games at the Rhône Stadium in Vénissieux near Lyon. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE MERLE        (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE MERLE/AFP/Getty Images)

By Mark Etheridge

London Paralympian athlete Andrea Dalle Ave’s 2016 season is moving along in leaps and bounds … quite literally.
The University of Johannesburg student started his season off slightly earlier than expected, and got results way beyond his expectations.
Competing in the long-jump event at Germiston Stadium at the weekend he soared to a new T37 category African best of 6.06 metres, doing his chances of making the South African team for the Paralympics in Rio this year, no end of good.
He told Road to Rio 2016: ‘Yes, it was very unexpected. I jumped on the Saturday after training on Friday. Coach Emmarie Fouche said that I was looking good in training so she was going to enter me in an able-body competition the next day.
‘So I got confirmation on Friday evening that I had a spot. It was just supposed to be a training competition before nationals, to feel more comfortable with my new run-up and see where I am after such a crazy training week.’
Crazy would have been the reaction of athletics aficionados as he nailed the African record immediately.
‘Everything went perfectly. I hit the board five out of six attempts and then bettered my own African record by one centimetre on two jumps. So for the first jump of my season we’re obviously very exciting going forward.’
Equally encouraging would have been the fact that the one jump where he faulted was even further than his African record ‘so we’re expecting even bigger distances really soon.’
The Business Administration student’s previous best of 6.05m came at last year’s Nedbank Nationals for the Physically Disabled & Visually Impaired in Johannesburg.
At the last Paralympics in London Dalle Ave competed in the T37 category in both 100m and long jump, not progressing beyond the heats in the latter event but placing fifth in the combined T37-38 class in the long jump.
It would seem that Dalle Ave is more than ready for Rio … but right now it’s back to training for next week’s nationals in Bloemfontein.

Picture courtesy of Getty Images


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