Paralympics: Team SA welcomed home

Paralympics: Team SA welcomed home

Team South Africa landed at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday morning following a successful 2016 Rio Paralympics which saw them bring home 17 medals. 

Trevor Cramer

Excitement mounted as supporters gathered to welcome home Team SA athletes following their 17-medal haul in Rio.

The national rugby team might not have given much reason for celebration on Saturday but South Africa's Paralympic team continued to rake in the medals on the other side of the world.

School children, supporters and officials gathered at the airport this morning to give our athletes a warm welcome home.

The unmistakable sound of the vuvuzela blasted through the terminal building, schoolchildren sang, chanted and waved the national flag and a large group of onlookers gathered to gain a decent vantage point on the balconies overlooking the arrivals area.

The balconies were draped with huge banners bearing the now familiar slogan " Well done - Team SA Rise".

Much of the attention was focused on 14-year-old men's 200 metre silver medallist Ntando Mahlangu., who elicited a massive cheer when he emerged from the arrival gates and again every time his name was mentioned during proceedings.

The welcoming party for the medallists included Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mblaula, Sascoc President Gideon Sam, CEO Tubby Reddy and various sponsors representatives.

An overwhelmed Mahlangu was quick to emphasise that it's 'Back to School' now after his Paralympic success, with his focus shifting back to education.

Double gold medallist Charl du Toit, who raced to victory in the T37 100m dash as well as the 400m event, said these Paralympics had exceeded all his expectations and personal goals. 

The Johannesburg-born, Stellenbosch-based athlete, coached by Suzanne Ferreira, clocked 51.13 seconds for a Paralympic record in the 400, as he won gold by almost two seconds from Venezuela’s Omar Monterola (52.93). 

Full List of Team SA medallists:


Kevin Paul (Swimming - Man's 100 m breaststroke.

Hilton Langenhoven (Men's long jump)

Charl du Toit x2 (Men's 100 m T37, Men's 400m T37)

Ernst van Dyk (Men's Road cycling)

Reinhardt Hamman (Men's javelin)

Dyan Buis (Men's 400 metres)


Hilton Langenhoven (Men's 200m)

Ilse Hayes X2 (Women's 100 m, women's 400 m)

Ntando Mahlangu (Men's 200 m)

Anrune Liebenberg (Women's 400 m)

Jonathan Ntutu (Men's 100 m)


Fanie vd Merwe (Men's 100 m)

Tyrone Pillay (Men's shotput)

Zanele Sithu (Women's javelin)

Dyan Buis (Men's long jump)

Team SA Paralympics
Photo: Trevor Cramer

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