A blisteringly hot Rustenburg got even hotter at the end of March when 850 of South Africa's athletes came together for the Nedbank National Championships for Physically Disabled 2011. This year's theme was Power but, sadly, the heat prevented the Powerlifters from achieving their full potential.

Thabo Phahlamohlaka beat newcomer Clifford Martin into 2nd place with a seamless 100kg lift. 23 year-old Johannes Matthysen is back with coach Jan Flemming and his lift of 122,5kg beat Vuyo Ndulzalwana's by 27,5kg! Bongani Mbatha pushed 80kgs and Mazwi Mkhize a rather decent 130kgs but hats off to Ricardo Fitzpatrick and Ruben Sosoreb who both pressed more than double theirbody weights with 152,5kg and 185kgs respectively.

Rain played such havoc with the cycling that certainpeople suggested a new "scuba cycling" category. Be that as it may, Ernst van Dyk narrowly squeezed out Oswald Kydd for the fastest 56.8km time beating him by 0.12 of a second. Alan McCready and Juan Wilken put in sub 1h46 times and Roxanne Burns came home at the head of her class.

The swimming took place in Pretoria which prevented team mates from nipping over to add their support. That did not seem to upset the swimmers, most of whom were using the event as a warm up for the National Swimming Championships in April. Shireen Shapiro (S10) and Emily Gray (S9) both did well in the 50m free style Shireen with a time of 31.73s and Emily in33.46s. Rising star Tezna Abrahams took the G U16 (S10) class by storm finishing with a total of eight medals (1 bronze, 2 silver and 5 gold) and three SA records. Johann van Heerden (S9 Boys 15-16) set a new SA record forthe 200m breast stroke, 0:03,13.

The athletics track and field saw some sensational heats despite the sometimes soggy conditions. Teboho Mokgalagadi (T35) shaved an entire fifth off his 400m SA record to finish in 01:04.5 just three seconds off the world record. Having recently achieved a b-class London 2012 Olympic qualifying time all eyes were on Oscar Pistorius who ran solidly.


SHOT PUT: Mache Smith 3.8m (G16 F54); Line Le Grange 4.11m (W20 F55); Dowayne Vallentine 6.56m (M20 F35); Dewaldt Minnaar 11.1m (M20 F12); Jessica Josias 6.84m (G16 F38);Phillip Mjeza 6.09 (B16 F34); Darryn Atkins 4.31m (B16 F33); Danie Breitenbach6.22m (B18 F11); Gaba Xaba 5.89m (G18 F40); Carmen Mentor 8.96m (W20 F13);Moloko Magdonald Kganyago 7.58m (M20 F57); Johan Graham 7.92m (M23 F55);Zandile Nhlapo 5.6m (W23 F34), Tiaan Huyzer 7.33m (B16 F44).

LONG JUMP: Thapelo Mofokeng 3.74m (B16 F45); Michael Lancaster 5.95m (B18 F46); Elizabeth Lekele3.83m (W20 F46); Kgomotso Sarah Kekana 2.38m (W20 F38); Andrea Dalle Ave 5.27m(M20 F37); Dyan Buis 6.27m (M23 F38).

DISCUS: Lean Simon 38.88m(B18 F44); Willem Maree 31.36m (M23 F38); Francois Badenhorst 38.71m (M23 F12);Ofentse Gaonakala 21.4m (B16 F35); Linandi van Jaarsveld 16.01m (G16 F37);Kgomotso Sarah Kekana 12.6m (W20 F38); Carmen Mentor 21.12m (W20 F13); Ashish Ramsurrup 28.63m (M23 F46).

JAVELIN: Terrence Nemagovhani 20.7m (B16 F12); Juanita Pienaar 8.29m (G16 F34); Gaba Xaba 12.18m(G18 F40); Kgomotso Sarah Kekana 12.94m (W20 F38); Carmen Mentor 22.55m (W20F13); Sicelo Kubheka 27.18m (M20 F36); Lohan Fourie 30.32m (B18 F42); Zandile Nhlapo 13.6m (W23 F34); Maria Kodisang 11.71m (W20 F56); Philip Mjeza 13.56m(B16 F34). Congratulations to Nosipho Nkosi, Zama and Mpumi who ran an extremely efficient nerve centre -  all protocols observed!!

Swimmers Share Stories

During the Nedbank National Championships for Physically Disabled, three of South Africa's top swimmers took time out to deliver a strong message of support to patients at the Muelmed Medi-Clinic Rehabilitation Centre in Pretoria. Muelmed offer acute functional rehabilitation to patientsdisabled due to spinal cord injuries, traumatic head injuries, strokes andother disabling conditions such as total or partial limb amputation and post-surgical joint replacement rehabilitation. By sharing their own inspiring stories paralympians Shireen Sapiro and Emily Gray and rising star, Tezna Abrahams, hoped to encourage patients to embrace life and reach their maximum independence. Nedbank donated R10,000 in support of the Rehabilitation Centre's Pool Project.