madiba meets paralympians

STAR: Natalie du Toit. © Unknown.
STAR: Natalie du Toit. © Unknown.

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

South Africa's Beijing Paralympics medallists will receive a pat on the back from former president Nelson Mandela when they visit him at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, Johannesburg, today at 12:20pm.

Olympic medallist Khotso Mokoena will also be hailed for his achievement in Beijing.

Mandela has requested to personally congratulate the Olympics and Paralympics medallists.

Those who will be honoured from the Paralympic team will include swimming icon Natalie du Toit, who won five golds with world records in Beijing.

Oscar Pistorius is also part of the programme. The "Blade Runner" won three golds.

The Paralympians are being honoured after they amassed 30 medals at the Games: 21 golds, three silver and six bronze.

The celebrated athletes will also visit headquarters of various companies that sponsored the team where they will sign autographs, chat and pose for pictures with the employees.

The athletes will then resume their roadshow on October 15 in North West.

They wind up their programme in Johannesburg the following day.

l An interesting battle is looming between local marathoner Hendrick Ramaala and Zimbabwe's Wirimai Juwawo in the Nedbank Matha Series Half-Marathon in Bloemfontein tomorrow.

The race will start and finish at the Free State Athletics Stadium.

What makes this battle a keenly anticipated affair is the fact that both athletes beat each other this year.

Juwawo won the first leg of the Martha Series in Pretoria where Ramaala came second. It was the South African's turn in Durban when he beat second-placed Juwawo in the 10km race.

Ramaala is more determined to win tomorrow to build his confidence for the New York Marathon on November 2.