SA end third on medals table at World Transplant Games | SASCOC - SASCOC

SA end third on medals table at World Transplant Games


South Africa once again shone at the World Transplant Games, this year’s version having being held in Malaga, Spain.

At 51 members, the team took on far bigger teams than themselves, but still managed to finish third overall with 76 medals.

Of those medals, 35 were gold, 23 silver and 18 bronze medals.

The World Transplant Games are held every second year, and brings thousands of transplantees together on the sporting field to celebrate the second chance they received after a life-saving solid organ transplant.

This year 2 200 athletes from across the world competed in a variety of sporting codes that included athletics, road running, petanque, tennis, squash, swimming, cycling, golf, badminton, ten pin bowling and table tennis.

Among the highlights for the SA team were winning the awards for most outstanding senior and junior female. These went to Lisa du Plessis in the senior ladies category, who won five gold medals and set five new world records in various swimming events.

The junior ladies category was won by Kristen Henry. She won five gold medals, achieved two world records in the swimming events, and collected a bronze as part of the South African women’s 4x100m relay team.

The team went to Spain with a clear objective: finish in the top 10 and ensure that the message of organ donation is spread far and wide.  In order to secure a top 10 finish, all athletes had to qualify twice for the World Transplant Games.

The first qualification opportunity was at the South African Transplant Games in 2016 that took place in Johannesburg. Athletes then had to qualify again before the start of the World Transplant Games. This qualification process and a training camp before the World Transplant Games ensured that South Africa sent the best possible team to the Spain.

The Transplant Games are unique, in the sense that all athletes have received a life-saving organ transplant. Although most athletes are in top form and fit, there is always the possibility that a medical emergency can occur due to the nature of some athlete’s conditions.

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