Mpumelelo Mhlongo grabs gold in Men’s T44 100m at 2024 World Para Athletics Championships

South Africa: Para Athlete Mpumelelo Mhlongo won gold in Men’s T44 100m race at the 2024 World Para Athletics Championships on Monday and making it three medals for Team South Africa.

The Para athlete also won a gold medal last year in 2023, in the same category and broke the world record in T44 200m race at the 2020 Paralympics Games.

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Reportedly, the 30-year-old para-athlete has dominated the T44 men’s 100m race by bagging the first position, in a time span of 11.34 seconds. The silver medal was taken by Malaysia’s Eddy Bernard who completed in 11.77 seconds and Sri Lanka’s Indika Gamage took the bronze in 11.83 seconds.

The Athlete Mhlongo also won South African’s first gold medal in the T44 Men’s 100m, in a time of 11.46 seconds at the 2023 World Para Athletics Championships at the Charlety Stadium in Paris.

Notably, T44 is a disability sport, classified for disability athletics that allows to single below-knee amputation or an athlete who can walk with moderately reduced function in one or both legs.

2024 World Para Athletics Championships
2024 World Para Athletics Championships

The Para-Athlete Mpumelelo Mhlongo was born with amniotic band syndrome, which resulted in a clubfoot and due to which his right leg is shorter than his left leg.

The athlete has won medals multiple times for the world championship. He is a South African sprinter and a long jump athlete and is also a Paralympic Games record holder.

He also has silver and bronze to his name that he won at the World Para Athletics Championships in 2019, for the T44 men’s 100 metres and long jump events.

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Considering the Championship, another athlete Louzanne Coetzee won a bronze medal in the Women’s 1,500m T11 final on Sunday and Liezel Gouws won a bronze in the women’s 400m T37 on Friday.

The 2024 World Para Athletics Championships is an ongoing Paralympic track and field meet that is organised by the World Para Athletics which a respective sport branch of the International Paralympic Committee.

It is the 11edition of the world championship of the event which is being held at Kobe Universiade memorial Stadium in Japan. The championship commenced on May 17, 2024 and will conclude on May 25, 2024. This for the first time that the event is held in East Asia.

It was initially scheduled to held on September 2021 but it was rescheduled to avoid clash with the 2020 Summer Paralympics which were rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.