By Mark Etheridge
Paralympian athlete Andrea Dalle Ave has bounced back from illness in fine fashion, soaring to an unofficial African T37 long jump record at the weekend.
The Johannesburg athlete took part in an able-bodied Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA) event, not knowing what to expect.
‘Just over a month ago I had chicken pox, which sidelined me for close to four weeks and this week was actually my first week back jumping at training, and with nationals only two weeks away we had no choice but to open my season this weekend.’
And to say 24-year-old Dalle Ave exceeded all expectations goes without saying. ‘Needless to say, it went brilliantly, I jumped a new unofficial African record of 6.18 metres. It was only unofficial because it was at an able-bodied event.
‘My coach Emmarie Fouche and I are extremely happy and it’s something we can now build on looking forward to this year.’
Dalle Ave’s personal best is the 6.06m he jumped in Germiston last year. ‘That’s the current African record.’
‘Next up are nationals two weeks away in Port Elizabeth, and I’m going to be looking at doing something very similar to yesterday’s distance.
‘That should assure me of a really good world ranking, and then I can relax and focus on world championships in July in London.’
In the picture are fellow long jumper Zarck Visser, Dalle Ave, Fouche and Namibian athlete Roger Heitengi