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Mahlangu and Coetzee top of the world in Bloemfontein
- Updated: March 24, 2016
Two world records were broken on Wednesday, as the track and field competition was concluded in style at the Nedbank National Championships for Physically Disabled in Bloemfontein.
Teenager Ntando Mahlangu, a double amputee sprinter, clocked 53.19 seconds to win the men’s T42 400-metre final, and visually impaired distance runner Louzanne Coetzee crossed the line in 19:17.60 in the women’s T11 5 000m race, as they both set new global marks.
Mahlangu, 14, was the star of the show at the three-day track and field competition during the annual multi-sport championships, also achieving the qualifying standards in the 100m and 200m events for the Paralympics in September.
In total, 21 SA athletes qualified for the Rio Games in their respective disciplines.
Versatile former Paralympic champion Hilton Langenhoven led the charge, booking his place in three events in the men’s T12 class (200m, 400m and long jump).
Six other athletes met the required times and distances in two events – Ilse Hayes (T13, 100m and 400m), Dyan Buis, picture above (T38, 100m and 400m), Union Sekailwe (T38, 100m and 400m), Mphumelelo Mhlongo (T44, 100m and long jump), Arnu Fourie (T44, 100m and 200m) and Pieter du Preez (T51, 100m and 400m).
Nine African records were set at the event, along with a host of new national marks, as the country’s top disabled athletes signalled their intent ahead of the Rio showpiece.
In the seven-a-side football tournament, North West drew clear at the top of the standings with a 3-2 win over Free State.
Gauteng secured a convincing 9-0 victory over Eastern Cape, climbing to second place in the table, two points behind the log leaders.