19-year-old Ntando Mahlangu, from Pretoria, jumped 7.17 metres, setting a world record to win gold in the long jump at the Paralympic Games. With one last jump left, Mahlangu was in third place, having jumped 7.02 metres. His first attempt of 7.02m was also a world record in the T61-class.

Mahlangu had only recently decided to compete in the long jump at the Tokyo Paralympics, and the decision paid dividends when he claimed a gold medal in the T63 class on Saturday. It was a memorable night for Team South Africa on the athletics track, as Anrune Weyers also grabbed a gold medal in the women’s 400m T47 class in a time of 56.05 seconds, providing the country’s first two podium finishes in Tokyo.

Mahlangu’s coach Neil Corne said he could not believe what he had witnessed. But the moment the result flashed on the television screen, he went berserk. “I yelled. I think it might be the loudest yell ever. My wife rushed over to see if I was OK, explained Cornelius, who had been coaching Mahlangu via WhatsApp messages from the lounge of his house in Elarduspark.

Mahlangu had previously decided to put long jump aside as the jumping had a negative effect on his lower back.Less than two months ago, the 19-year-old chose to dive into the sandpit once more, and the move paid off handsomely at the Tokyo Stadium on Saturday. Mahlangu hopes to win another gold medal for South Africa on September 3, when he competes in the 200m in his disability category. #ladi_jaja?

By: Staff Reporter.

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