Paralympics break record

Paralympics break record

Visually-impaired female athlete Taonere Banda has joined her male compatriot Mphatso Saukile as the first Malawian Paralympic athletes to qualify for the World Paralympic Games.

This comes after Banda met the qualifying standard time and took bronze in the women’s 400 metres (m) T-13 category during the 2024 World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Marrakech, Morocco on Saturday.

Banda in full-flight at the games

The Paralympic Games are scheduled for August 28 to September 8 this year.

On Saturday, Banda crossed the finish line in 1:07.95 minutes to be within the 1:09.00 qualifying brackets. Aliaksandra Amialeshka of Nepal won gold in 1:05.41 while Mexican Sarai Priscilla Chaves Nava  claimed silver in1:07.63.

Banda first qualified for the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, but was unable to attend due to funding hitches.

“I am really lost for words to describe my joy. However, I am keeping fingers crossed that adequate funding will be available for me to compete at the Paralympics,” she said.

Banda has joined Saukile, who already qualified for the 2024 Paralympic Games after winning gold during the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Games Malawi hosted in December 2022.

At the Morocco event, Saukile clinched bronze and achieved his personal best time in men’s 200m T-12 division in 24.54 seconds, which was outside the standard qualifying time. Nigerian Temitope Babatunde Adewole won gold in 23.21 while Malaysian Afiq Muhamad Mohamad Ali Hanafiah took silver in 23.63.

Another Malawi representative, Moses Misoya, claimed silver in men’s 200m T-13 category and bronze in 400m T-13 section, but his finishing times fell short of qualifying standards.

Malawi Paralympic Committee president James Chiutsi yesterday said they are happy that the government, through the Malawi National Council of Sports, has promised to financially support the para-athletes and they are also pleading with the corporate world for additional assistance.

Sports Council spokesperson Edgar Ntulumbwa confirmed that they will do everything possible to assist Banda and Saukire.

“It is not an easy feat to qualify for such world games and we will do anything possible to ensure the two compete in France,” he said.

The post Paralympics break record first appeared on Nation Online.

The post Paralympics break record appeared first on Nation Online.