He’s quick. He’s powerful. He’s competed across the world, from the All Africa Games in Dakar to the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Now, Mpumelelo Mhlongo can add a second UCT Sportsperson of the Year award to his ever-growing mantelpiece. After a slew of impressive performances on the track, the jumper and sprinter claimed the Jamison Cup for the second year running at the UCT Sports Awards, which were held in late October.
Mhlongo represented South Africa at the World Athletics Championships and placed 4th in the T44* long jump final. He went on to win the gold medal in the long jump at the South African Sports Association for Physically Disabled Championships, as well as silver in the 100- and 200-m races.
He was also invited to compete at the London Anniversary Games, but his crowning glory this year was when he was selected for Team South Africa for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. Mhlongo ran in the 100-m semi-final and just missed out on making the finals. Undeterred, he went on to place sixth in the T44 long jump finals.
Mhlongo is a final-year chemical engineering student who will be graduating this year.
*T44 is a classification for disability athletics that applies to an athlete who can walk with moderately reduced function in one or both legs, and for single below-knee amputations.
Story Yusuf Omar. Photos Supplied.
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