Four South African wheelchair tennis aces, Lucas Sithole, Kgothatso ‘KG’ Montjane, Evans Maripa and Leon Els are among the star-studded team announced by SASCOC last week to represent the country at the Summer Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro from 7-18 September.
Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA) Director and Coach Holger Losch said the four players are ready for the challenge they will face in Rio 2016 following the announcement made at the Nedbank Head Office in Johannesburg at a glittering occasion where the names of the honored 45 Paralympians were revealed.
“There’s no doubt this is a very talented and committed team and we are very delighted to see them get this far. We are very excited by their potential and by the competition that we can expect to see in Rio. We wish all the athletes the very best with their ongoing training and preparation but we know they are ready,” commented Losch.
World number nine Kgothatso Montjane from Limpopo will be competing in her third consecutive Games, with the two-time Grand Slam champion Lucas Sithole and Evans Maripa, the country’s top men’s ace both aiming to impress on their second Paralympic Games since the 2012 London event. Meanwhile, the country’s number two men’s player Leon Els will be making his Paralympic debut.
“It’s a real honor to represent my country at the Paralympics. I am very excited to go to Rio with some of the best and more experienced players. I have worked hard, and am focused on making sure my rivals know they are up against a truly formidable opponent in Rio,” said world number 34 Els.
Montjane, Sithole and Maripa who are on a three-week tour in Europe will be in action this week at the British Open, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Super Series tournament in Nottingham.
“We are really proud of the four athletes and we wish them well as they prepare to compete at the Rio Paralympics. It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase the sport and a great highlight of our investment in the sport for the past 11 years,” said Airports Company South Africa Group Executive: Corporate Affairs Refentse Shinners.