By Mark Etheridge
One of just four teenagers in the Team South Africa squad at the Rio Paralympics, Liezel Gouws, is done with her competition after running the T37 100 and 400-metre events.
And the 17-year-old from Hoërskool Wesvalia in Klerksdorp, did well to reach the finals in both distances, marking her down as one for the future.
‘I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience at my first Paralympics,’ she says.
‘To make both those finals is something that I’m very proud of. We have a very strong class with fantastic athletes.
‘It was really great and a huge privilege to run every race with joy and passion. My main goal was to glorify God’s name with every race and I think I definitely did that.
‘It’s been a very hard year for me to come back after a big injury so I’m thankful to God for bringing me this far and hoping to see how he’ll continue to use me.
Elaborating on her injury, she says: ‘I developed a stress fracture in my foot and had to have an operation to fix it.’
While rower Dylan Trollope is done with competition, the team’s other teenagers are still in action. Ntando Mahlangu, already a silver medal winner in the T42 200m sprint, is in 100m action on Thursday while Alani Ferreira swims her final race on Saturday, the S13 100m backstroke.
Picture of Gouws in action during the 100m, courtesy of Wessel Oosthuizen/SASPA