Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Paralympians leave for Beijing

2008-09-05 05:41

Johannesburg - South Africa's Paralympic athletes set out on Friday for Beijing, for the Paralympic Games which open on Saturday September 6.

South Africa won 35 medals - including 15 gold medals at the Paralympics in Athens in 2004, finishing 13th on the medals table. Eight of the nine gold medallists from Athens, including swimmer Natalie du Toit and athlete Oscar Pistorius, will be travelling to Beijing. Du Toit recently made history when she became the first person to compete in both the Olympic Games and the Paralympics.

Another experienced athlete travelling to Beijing is Ernst van Dyk, who will be attending his fifth Paralympics games. Van Dyk - the first man to break one hour and 20 minutes for the wheelchair marathon - owns silver medals for the 800m and 1500m events, but he is so desperate to win a gold medal that he has turned to cycling as well.

One of the heroes of the South African team is Zanele Situ, who will be defending the javelin title she won in Sydney and in Athens. Situ, who is paralysed from the waist down, was given the prestigious Whang Dai Overcome award at the end of the Athens games. She won the award for exemplifying an exceptional level of determination to overcome adversity through sport ahead of 53 other nominees from 34 countries.

South Africa is sending athletes in nine disciplines - athletics, aquatics, cycling, equestrian, powerlifting, rowing, table tennis, tennis and wheelchair basketball.


Roos ready for Paralympics

2008-09-05 05:41

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

How will the Springboks fare in their three end of year tour Tests against England, Italy and Wales?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.