Rio 2016 Paralympics opening ceremony – Team South Africa ready to compete!

BY JESICA SLABBERT - SEPTEMBER 8, 2016

On Wednesday evening, the opening ceremony for the Rio 2016 Paralympics went off to a great start in the iconic Maracana Stadium that is host the earlier Olympics.

The 45 South African competitors held their heads up with pride as they made their way through the ceremony, demonstrating spirit and excitement for the upcoming events.

Some athletes were unable to participate in the ceremony as events they would be competing in would take place on Thursday.

There are a few competitors participating on Thursday, with newbies and gold medal hopefuls taking part.

Swimming:

  • Kevin Paul, the Port Elizabeth grown Paralympic veteran, holds the highest potential for claiming a gold medal in this year’s events. He will be participating in the 100m Breaststroke heats, SB9 classification, at 3:17pm SA time.
  • Alani Ferreira, this 18-year old is a newcomer to the Paralympics and there are high hopes for her in the competition. She will be participating in the 100m Butterfly heats, S13 classification, at 5:16pm SA time.

Should they make it past their heats they would then move on to the finals taking place later in the evening, Kevin Paul at 11:06pm and Alani Ferreira at 12:46am.

Athletics:

  • Hilton Langenhoven will be running in the 400m heats, T12 classification, at 4:56pm. If he places high enough he will then move on to the Semi-Finals later in the evening at 11:38pm.
  • Mphumi Mlongo, also a newcomer, will be participating in the 100m heats with Paralympic veteran Arnu Fourie, T44 classification at 10:42pm.
  • Liezel Gouws will be running in the 100m heats, T37 classification at 12:51am.

Cycling:

  • Roxy Burns will be the lone cyclist competing in the qualifier for the qualifying round of the Individual Pursuit, C1-3 classification at 3pm. Should she make it past the qualifying round she will then go through to the finals later in the evening at 9:30pm.