Sheryl James had great fun in Tokyo... now Ntando Mahlangu eyes second gold medal at Paralympics
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CAPE TOWN - Sheryl James had captured the imagination of the South African sporting public earlier this week when she won a bronze medal in the 400m in the T37 category at the Tokyo Paralympics.
And even though the 35-year-old came short of emulating that performance in the 100m T37 final yesterday, where she ended fifth in a time of 13.67 seconds, she reflected on a memorable Tokyo Games afterwards.
“I’m happy with it. I enjoyed my last race in Tokyo – it was great fun. I do prefer the long distances, but running is running. It’s great fun,” James, who is a farmer in Limpopo, said from the Japanese capital yesterday.
“It was a very good experience – it was amazing. I am going back to the farm and do some farming… ride my horse, walk my dog and will just carry on training, and hopefully develop new athletes.
“(Paris 2024) is on the cards – we are working on it. I will rest before that!”
The only other South African in action yesterday was Toni Mould in the women’s T1-2 cycling road race.
After finishing 10th in the time trial earlier in the week at the Fuji Speedway circuit – about 100km outside Tokyo – Mould fared even better in the road race yesterday, claiming eighth position.
There will be greater hopes of more medals for Team SA today, with sprinter Ntando Mahlangu aiming for gold in the 200m T41 final (12.42pm SA time).
The 19-year-old clinched top spot in the long jump earlier in the week, and he is a clear favourite in the half-lap event, which will hopefully add to the five medals already in the bag.
“I tend to do things in the moment. I’ve got a strategy for the race and am now at that stage where I’m racing against the clock as much as I am the opposition,” Mahlangu told the Team SA website yesterday.
“I’ve got 23 seconds in which to execute my race. If I have a bad first five seconds for instance, I’m in the moment and trust the process enough to know that I’ve got 18 seconds to make things right.”