Mpumelelo Mhlongo broke his own world record while bettering his own time in the T44 category with a time of 11.09 secs!
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Mpumelelo Mhlongo only took up Para athletics in 2014 at the University of Cape Town but it is his most recent win that is quickly making him a household name in the sporting world.
Mhlongo is currently competing at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships, a Paralympic track and field meet organized by the World Para Athletics subcommittee of the International Paralympic Committee.
The men’s 100-metre T64 heats this evening was no less than a final with the incredibly talented South African bettering his own world mark in the T44 category with a time of 11.09 secs, giving him a Silver Medal. While Germany’s Johannes Floors also set a new world record in the T64 category with a time of 10.54 secs, giving him the Gold place.
But a world record was never in Mhlongo’s sights after being born with amniotic band syndrome which left him with a shorter right leg, a deformed club foot and several deformed fingers. For many with such disabilities on the African continent, the future would indeed look bleak but Mhlongo is not only defying the odds of his disability but breaking his own world records in the process.
Mhlongo became the South African T44 champion in the 100m, 200m, long jump and high jump categories at the 2015 National Championships for the Physically Disabled, breaking the All African records for the latter two. He competed at the 2016 Paralympic Games in two events, as well as four events at the 2015 and 2017 World Championships, and is currently training hard for the upcoming World Championships and 2020 Paralympic Games.
“I am doing everything in my capacity to go a step further in Tokyo 2020. This is how I have been called to action, and the way I hope to bring the spotlight to, show the potential of, and change attitudes towards Africa’s disabled beyond 2020.”
To follow Mhlongo’s journey to 2020, click here.