Update: World Transplant Games

All eyes will be on Kings Park Athletics Stadium in Durban (yesterday and today), for the World Transplant Games track and field events. Former Olympic athlete and USA TV star, Howard Dell, who is a liver transplantee, was hoping to break five world records in the 100 and 200 meters, discus, javelin and ball throw.


Martha Ehlin from Sweden will be taking to the field during the track and field events at Kings Park Athletics stadium today. The inspiring lady will be participating in the javelin, high jump, shot put, ball throw, 100m and 400m relay events. Ehlin who, in 2009 had five transplants, participated in the Swedish games in 2011 where she went out and dazzled the event claiming five gold’s in Athletics, stating that each gold was in honour of each transplant. She won gold in javelin, high jump, shot put, long jump and floor ball which is a Swedish game similar to ice hockey but minus the ice. This year she is defending three of those titles, the javelin, shot put and high jump. She is the talented athlete claims her favourite is high jump with a personal best of 1.55m and shot put with her best put of 9.20m. The Swedish athlete participated in the volleyball on Monday where her team won two games and lost two games. The events conclude tomorrow with a close on 150 participants taking part in the track and field. Back home she is a founder of an organisation, MOD which means courage in Swedish. More Organ Donation (MOD) assists people who are in urgent need of transplants and she creates awareness for the need of organ donations. For more info go to www.wtg2013.com or like the Facebook page.


Pacing their way through the men’s 1,500m in the 30 – 39 age category are Morokwane Itumeleng (South Africa) who finished fourth, Pablo Grunewald (Argentina) who finished third and Daniel Motsoso (South Africa) who took the title in the highly competitive middle distance race.

Records tumbled during the first day of the World Transplant Games athletics in Durban with 20 new records being set as of Friday 2nd August.


Former Olympic athlete, Howard Dell started off the day with one mission in mind, to break the World Transplant Games record in the 100m for his age group 50 – 59. The speedster was determined to beat Dutchman Andre Lassooij 2009 record of 12.92. He managed to break the record not once, but twice. In his first heat he dashed across the line in a time of 12.68, 24 seconds faster than the record but the time was wind assisted with the wind registering 2.2meters per second.


In the final, he turned up the gas, pacing a 12.54, shaving off 38 seconds again.  The prevailing wind picked up in the afternoon, clocking 3.2 meters per second. The heart breaking news for the former professional athlete was his records were wind-assisted and therefore won’t stand.


“I felt good; over the last 50m I knew I had the record. I broke the records, it what I set out to do but you can’t help the weather.” the towering Olympian commented. “The whole week the event has been superlative and the Local Organising Committee has been outstanding! I have been to a lot of events and this one rates the best by far.”


The first record to be broken at the World Transplant Games was by seventeen year old South African Philemon Mogotsi in the Long Jump event. His jump of 5.31m increased the record by a mere 1cm to put his name firmly in the record books when he broke Robbie Lyons from Ireland’s 5.30m.


Multi-talented Ulrika Svantesson from Sweden is notching up the medals at this year’s Games. The Swede powered her way to a gold medal in the first event of the Athletics, the 3,000m Power Walk, “I am so happy,” she stated at the finish. After three laps, the Venezuelan runner started off so strong and was far ahead of me but my pacing was better. “When it was three laps to go, I got my counting wrong and thought it was only one lap to go so when I thought I was close to finishing I had a bit of a surprise that I still needed to do two more laps!


Svantesson has had a great World Transplant Games with a bronze on the first day in the 5km Road Race, a silver in the 5km Cycling Time Trial on Tuesday and then a gold in Wednesday’s 20km Cycling Road Race. “I have been training hard, at least once a day and if I was feeling strong I even managed ten training sessions a week.” the double kidney transplantee said.


Australian Montague Summers affirmed, “This event is better organised than the Swedish Games, the track is better. We have been having such a great time in Durban and haven’t been doing too badly in the results and medals.”


Running hero, Daniel Matsoso, who raced his way to a splendid gold in the 1,500m in the 30 – 39 age group in a time of 4:55.84, was delighted with his performance, “I am so happy, I didn’t want to disappoint on the track today. When I arrived, I saw my face on all the street poles and this gave me more of a reason to do well!”


Well known running star, Blanche Moila was at the games supporting the inspirational athletes, “I take my hat off to these athletes, I know how much training goes into preparing for a race, the amount of sacrifice and work goes into a body that is already compromised, just phenomenal. These hundreds of athletes are absolutely amazing!” enthused the experienced long distance athlete.


Athletes of all ages have been putting their heart and souls into their performances at the track and field events with the final day concluding the six day World Transplant Games in Durban today. For more info go to www.wg2013.com or like the Facebook page.


**World Transplant Games Records as of Friday 2nd August**

50m Boys 6 – 8

Josh Laurenz (South Africa) 8.48

100m Men 70 +

Derek Johnson (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) 18.85

50m Boys 9 – 11

1 Kieren Seri (France) 8.42, 2 Kaidyn Blair (Canada) 8.48, 3 Jacques Boshoff (South Africa) 8.72

Women 400m 50 – 59

1 Deborah Chudy (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) 1:25.19, 2 Elviria Mendiburu (Argentina) 1:28.05

400m Men 18 – 29

Montague Summers (Australia) 0:52.9

400m Men 30 – 39

Vojtech Koudelka (Cze Republic) 0:54.76

Cricketball Men 40 – 49

Kevin Montague (United States of America) 80:01

100m Women 40 – 49

Michelle Daley (Australia) 14.04

400m Men 60 – 69

Peter Stoetzer (Germany) 1:36.71

1,500m Women 18 – 29

1 Andrasne Jung (Hungary) 06:04.68, 2 Marie Devine (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) 06:17.93

High Jump Women 30 – 39

Floranke Brake (Netherlands) 1.35

Shot Put Men’s 15 – 17

1 Matthew Mokorao (New Zealand) 10.73, 2 Herculaas Lamprecht (South Africa) 9.52

400m Women 60 – 69

Genevieve Anthamatteh (Switzerland) 1:31.86

Shot Put Women 18 – 29

Nicoleta Raluca Dragan (Romania) 11.09

Long Jump Boys 9 – 11

Kaidyn Blair (Canada) 3.20


**Pix by Val Adamson**