WORLD TRANSPLANT GAMES ENDS ON HIGH
The week-long 19th World Transplant Summer Games has ended and was deemed a resounding success by the athletes and organisers. President of the World Transplant Games Federation, Mr Olivier Coustere, commented: “The South African event rates as one of the best in the history of the Games, which have been running every second year since 1978. The organisation of the event, plus the warmth of the Zulu welcome, the culture, the food and the music, will leave lasting impressions on all of us.” Team South Africa finished in third position in the final medal count. Overall winners were Team Great Britain and Northern Ireland, who competed as one team.
Top five teams and medal count:
Great Britain and Northern Ireland: 114 gold, 74 silver, 47 bronze
USA: 42 gold, 32 silver, 27 bronze
South Africa: 37 gold, 32 silver, 27 bronze
Hungary: 37 gold, 19 silver, 21 bronze
Australia: 25 gold, 15 silver, 12 bronze
1800 participants from 50 countries enjoyed Durban’s warm winter sunshine in weather conditions that were hotter than the last Summer Games held in Sweden in 2011. Â Several athletes are celebrating breaking World Transplant Games records, including eight South Africans. Over 50 records were broken at the two day athletics. Four awards were presented by The World Transplant Games Federation at the closing ceremony to the “Most Outstanding Athletes in the World Transplant Games: in the categories of Boys, Girls, Male and Female athletes.”
WORLD TRANSPLANT GAMES FEDERATION AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDINGÂ Â ATHLETES:
Top Boy Athlete: Kaidyn Blair, Canada.
Top Girl Athlete: Nicole McKenzie, Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Top Male Athlete: Liam Barnett, Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Top Female Athlete: Heilie Uys, South Africa
Heilie Uys, who was the captain of the South African team, was nominated “The Most Outstanding Female Athlete” of the entire Games, by the World Transplant Games Federation. Selection criteria requires the athlete to have excelled in a wide variety of different sports and to have interacted well with all other athletes. Heilie, who competed in the 60 – 69 age division and lives in St Francis Bay, was also nominated “the best lady golfer in the Games.” She won gold medals for golf and shotput and broke Transplant Games world records for javelin, discus and cricket ball. Uys, who has had a kidney transplant, has more than medals and records to her name. She is also the National Secretary for SATSA, (The South African Transplant Sports Association,) and is the Secretary of the local World Transplant Games Organising Committee.
OTHER SOUTH AFRICANS BREAKING WORLD TRANSPLANT GAMES ATHLETICSÂ RECORDS:
Long Jump 15 – 17 years: Philemon Mogotsi – 5.31mÂ (Northwest/Free State)
Shot Put 15 – 17 years: Herculaas Lamprecht – 9.52m (Western Cape)
50 m run Boys 9 – 11 years: Jacques Boshoff 8.42 (Gauteng)
Javelin Men 30 – 39 years: Dawid Van Den Berg- 31.53m (NW/Free State)
Javelin Men 50 – 59 years: Lourens Schultz 35.01m (NW/Free State)
Javelin Women 60 – 69 years: Heilie Uys -18.03m (Eastern Cape)
Discus Women 60 – 69 years: Heilie Uys 19.14m
Cricketball Women 60 – 69 years: Heilie Uys 29.99
INTERNATIONAL ATHLETES SUCCESS:
Swedish athlete, Martha Ehlin, encapsulated the agony that most of these athletes have experienced; “When you are on the list, waiting for a donor, you are not waiting, you are fighting for your life and we are now celebrating our lives at this event in Durban.” Ehlin, who had five transplants during a seventeen hour operation, won five gold medals in her home-town of Sweden in 2011 and won gold for shotput, javelin and cricket ball in South Africa, as well as silver in high jump. She competed in five sports – one dedicated to each of her five organ transplants. Howard Dell of Team USA broke the 200 metre World Transplant Games record. Vince Taylor of Team Great Britain and Northern Ireland was second and South Africa’s Andre Murphy (Gauteng), finished third in the 200 metres. Montague Summers of Australia, broke two World Transplants Games records for 800 and 1500 metres and equalled the 400 metre WTG record. He has raised AUD 16, 000 (approx R160Â 000,00) for an organ donor project to inspire transplantees to integrate back into society and involve themselves in sport.
The next World Transplant Games will be held in Mardelplata, Argentina, in 2015.