South Africa

Earthquake jolt for SA para-athletes in Mexico

2017-09-21 13:17
Alani Ferreira (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Some of South Africa's leading para-athletes have been left in the lurch, as the 2017 Para Sport Festival in Mexico City has been postponed due to Tuesday's devastating earthquake.

More than 200 people have already died in the 7.1 magnitude quake.

According to the SASCOC website, para-swimming and para-powerlifting were the two sports due to be contested between September 30 and October 6 - the first time that two of para-sport’s biggest global competitors have been staged together.

More than 550 swimmers and 360 powerlifters from 65 countries were scheduled to gather in the city.

Two of the venues - the Francis Marquez pool and Juan de la Barrera gymnasium - look to have only sustained minor damage, it's the athletes' and officials' hotel accommodation which has been badly affected.

South Africa had only one para-powerlifter scheduled to compete, Ricardo Fitzpatrick.

"We don't know much at all now and I just have to wait and hear from my agent in terms of rescheduling and flights etcetera," Fitzpatrick told SASCOC.

"Obviously the postponement means you have to adapt your whole training, as it's crucial to peak at exactly the right day of competition."

Rio Paralympian Alani Ferreira was part of the swimming squad scheduled to compete.

"It's absolutely devastating what has happened to the country," said Ferreira.

"We were meant to fly this coming Tuesday."

Read more on:    swimming
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