JOHANNESBURG – The world’s best athletes with hearing impairments from around the world are currently competing in the 24th Deaflympics, in the southern city of Caxias do Sol, Brazil.
South Africa has sent a team to take part in the world-class competition, with SA swimmer Amkele Qamarana having carried the South Africa flag at the opening ceremony on Sunday.
Just as it is with the Olympics, the Deaflympics is organised once every four years.
The Deaflympics are the most prestigious multi-sports event meant only for deaf athletes.
"Of great importance is that Amkele and Nirmal are the first SA Deaf black and Indian ever for swimming at Deaflympics, and we believe that this will inspire other athletes to work hard going forward,” said South African Deaf Sports Federation on Facebook.
Team South Africa sent over a team of seven athletes across three sporting codes but unfortunately, no female athletes made the cut for the games.
"It's unfortunate that none of our female athletes qualified in order to be included in the list because of the strict qualification requirements. This is an area that needs attention for future international competitions,” said South African Deaf Sports Federation.
The Deaflympics are from 1-15 May with 209 events across 17 sports.
The Games were originally scheduled to take place in December 2021 but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Team SA Deaflympics Team
1. Aobakwe Mphahlele ( Athletics)
2. Obakeng Tlhako ( Athletics)
3. Amkele Qamrana ( Swimming)
4. Nirmal Kanjee ( Swimming)
5. Charles Williams ( Golf)
6. Jay-Jay Botha (Golf)
7. Cedric Touzard ( Golf)
1. Tadhg Slattery – Chef de Mission and Manager Swimming
2. Amos Mashele – Manager Athletics