Zim teen blade runner heads for Portugal Paralympics

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Victoria Falls-based teenage international blade runner, Pride Tadiwanashe Mafira, has been invited to represent the country at the world’s Paralympic games in Portugal next month.

BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI

Mafira from Chinotimba Primary School is expected to compete at the International Wheelchair and Amputees Sports Federation World Athletics Championship.

According to the invitation, the competitions will run from November 30 to December 6, where Mafira will compete in the 100m race, high jump and shot put.

He was chosen by Isabilty Sports club after his thrilling performance.

In April, the T44 track and F44 field athlete scooped gold in the 100m race and silver in high jump at the Nedbank National Championships for the physically disabled in South Africa.

“Due to his excellent performance during the 2017 athletics season Pride Tadiwanashe Mafira has been deemed a prospect for further development and training. This could result in bigger international events for this young athlete such as the IPC World Championships in 2019 …” the invitation letter for the Portugal games read.

His father and trainer Fredrik Mafira said he needed about
R60 000 to accompany his son to the games.

“We have received $129 and we are still waiting for more responses from companies. We are still fundraising from friends and we hope we will succeed. The money is for airfare, accommodation, food and entry fees.”

Mafira said his son has failed to compete locally after Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) said they could not classify him as he is the only blade runner in the country.

He recently performed in South Africa representing Ice Xpress, a Gauteng Province club, but he insists on wanting to represent his country.

Namibia also invited him a fortnight ago for competitions, but the teenager could not make it due to his Grade 7 examinations that were going on.

Born in 2005, Pride has a fibular hemimelia, a congenital absence of the bone in his right calf and had his leg amputated at six months to ensure his optimal development.

He was amputated below the right knee and started using a prosthetic at the age of three, but preferred crutches to get around.
He received his first orthotics and prosthetics training donated to him by an amputee American tourist in 2011.