Cape Town - Tyrone Pillay won bronze for South Africa in the men’s T42 shot put category at the 2016 Paralympics Games on Monday.
Pillay threw a personal best of 13.91m and after his win spoke to SASCOC about his third-place finish, saying:
“Being a medallist is a big thing, I never came here thinking about the medal, just thought about the process and making sure I stuck to what we planned... a medal is a cherry on the top without a doubt. Breaking the African and South African record is just the ultimate.”
The Durbanite dedicated his first Olympic medal to his mother who has been diagnosed with cancer: “My mom’s been diagnosed with cancer; she’s been a fighter of note. I brought her over and said to her, ‘I want you to experience this.’ Because we didn’t know where she was going to be a year ago, so for her to be here is awesome.”
Pillay’s bronze took South Africa’s Paralympic medal tally to seven and paid tribute to every athlete participating in Rio, including 14-year-old Ntando Mahlangu, who claimed silver in the 200m on Sunday.
“I look up to all of them, from a 14-year-old boy to our 45-year-old Zanele Situ, all of them inspire me and I’m proud to be in this team with each one of them.”
The 36-year-old was born with an abnormality in his left foot and is a single above knee amputee athlete.
According to the Get It Durban website, Pillay played cricket for 14 years but his disability got in the way, which prompted him to go into disabled athletics.
“At 36, I don’t know how much longer I can go, but the mere fact that we are able to motivate and inspire the next generation. To get these kids to believe and achieve is I think the ultimate.”
Watch Pillay's full interview