Cape Town - Three South African wheelchair tennis stars - Lucas Sithole, Kgothatso
Montjane and Evans Maripa - were lauded on Monday afternoon by Sports Minister
Fikile Mbalula when they arrived at OR Tambo International Airport from the
Mbalula was speaking at a media briefing after the world No 3 Sithole
returned from the Australian Open, where he clinched the quads doubles title
with partner American David Wagner last week.
The duo defeated second seeds
Andy Lapthorne (GBR) and Dylan Alcott (AUS) 6-1, 6-3 in a 1-hour battle at
Melbourne Park to record Sithole’s first Grand Slam doubles title.
“Lucas Sithole continues to make our country proud demonstrating that
nothing is impossible. It is for these reasons that he was honoured amongst our
top South African athletes at the Sport Awards. It was not my first time to
welcome Lucas at the airport and will certainly not be my last as he continues
to exceed our expectations with his performance,” Mbalula said.
After commending Sithole, the Sports Minister also gave credit to the
country women’s top ranked Montjane who secured two titles in Australia ahead
of the Australian Open and also applauded Maripa for the hard work and
representing the country with pride.
Airports Company South Africa Group Executive - Corporate Affairs
Refentse Shinners said they will continue to elevate the stature of wheelchair
tennis in South Africa and to fly the South African flag on the world’s most
elite sporting stages.
“As Airports Company South Africa, we are very excited
to be celebrating this very momentous milestone and achievement of South
Africa’s top wheelchair tennis stars. This huge achievement that we are
celebrating today shows what can be achieved when we all collaborate as
stakeholders towards one common goal,” said Shinners.
“To Lucas Sithole, once again well done! You are an inspiration to many
sportsmen and women, to many young people and to all South Africans,” added the
game sponsor representative Shinners.