It was an action-packed Super Saturday 8 2 20 for two of our much-appreciated and cherished KZN10.com schools Kearsney College and Clifton College on the cricket, water polo and basketball arenas in Botha’s Hill and Riverside-by-the-Sea.
The KZN10.com man on the spot Brad Morgan had a field day with camera in hand and remarked on the passionate support and camaraderie that permeated the throngs of friendly spectators – moms, dads, siblings, grandparents, aunties and uncles – and just your regular fan, like Brad, of the KZN10 schools’ special way of celebrating a Sporting Super Saturday within the KZN10.com Family of 10.
Let’s check out Brad’s pics and see if you can identify some of the players.
Brad Morgan feature foto: Kearsney top-order batsman Dylan Hulett has been in the most prolific of form this term. A batter for all occasions, Dyl has dug his side out of deep trouble when wickets tumbled around him and has been able to kick on with his aggressive brand of batsmanship when the need arose. Keep your eye out for this talented young man.
The Kearsney College first team hosted Clifton on Saturday and the opening quarter saw the two teams feeling each other out with Kearsney doing much of the playing but failing to convert their opportunities into points.
Clifton made the most of their limited opportunities and scored whenever they shot the ball. The quarter ended with the teams deadlocked at 8-apiece.
Tracey van den Aardweg feature image: Sharpshooter Ryan Wimbush was Kearsney’s top points (18) scorer.
Kearsney began to find some rhythm on offence during the 2nd quarter and opened up a 4-point lead – going into the halftime break 21-17 ahead.
Kearsney broke open the game during the 3rd quarter and played some very good basketball, looking like they would finish off their opponents in amassing a 14-point lead.
However, the 4th quarter fizzled out with both teams making poor decisions on offence and not making their baskets.
But Kearsney had done enough to come out winners by a 13-point margin with the final scoreline reading Kearsney 59 and Clifton 46.
For Kearsney, the top points scorers against Clifton were Ryan Wimbush with 19 points, followed by Matt Campbell (17 points), Xander Kapsimalis, Siyabonga Mpontshane & Ben Field on 6 points apiece.
For Clifton, Jacques Mahanga netted 20 points.
Yesterday, the Kearsney first team went down by 60 points to 50 at Westville.
All in all, it was a top day for Kearsney basketball versus visitors Clifton with 9 wins from 9 starts.
OTHER KEARSNEY vs CLIFTON RESULTS
2nds: Kearsney 26 Clifton 22
3rds: Kearsney 47 Clifton 14
U16A: Kearsney 54 Clifton 19
U16B: Kearsney 29 Clifton 19
U15A: Kearsney 70 Clifton 8
U15B: Kearsney 56 Clifton 6
U14A: Kearsney 33 Clifton 18
U14B: Kearsney 20 Clifton 6
In a much-anticipated clash, the Kearsney College first team played host to water polo powerhouses Clifton College on Saturday.
Clifton, fresh from a tournament in Grahamstown, settled quickly into their stride.
Kearsney created some good scoring chances in the first half, but were ultimately undone by solid defence and the wrong options being taken a few too many times.
Brad Morgan feature photo: IT’S THERE FOR THE TAKING!
The clinical Clifton side punished each Kearsney mistake to take the score to a commanding 7-1 at the halftime break.
Kearsney College came out strong in the 3rd chukka, showing composure and heart to claw back into the game and were trailing by 4 goals at 4-8 with a chukka to play.
With all-out attack and risk-taking the imperative in attempting to haul in the 4-goal deficit in that last chukka, it was a bridge to far for the home team as Clifton comfortably contained the threat in conceding 1 goal while adding 4 of their own to finish the markedly stronger team in this encounter at the final scoreline of 12-5.
On the plus side for Kearsney, many lessons were learnt at the hands of this quality Clifton outfit.
All in all it was a successful day for Clifton water polo.
2nds: Clifton 10 Kearsney 2
3rds: Clifton 10 Kearsney 3
4ths: Clifton 15 Kearsney 3
5ths: Clifton 10 Kearsney 4
U15A: Clifton 6 Kearsney 1
U15B: Clifton 10 Kearsney 8
U14A: Clifton 12 Kearsney 0
The final of the CSA Dolphins Franchise Schools T20 Challenge between KZN Coastal winners Kearsney College first XI and KZN Inland winners Hilton College first XI will take place from 2pm on Thursday, 20th February at the picturesque Maritzburg Oval in the KZN capital.
The final was originally scheduled for Feb 27 but the spanner in the works was that Hilton are scheduled to be at the annual St Albans College-hosted Independent Schools Cricket Festival in Pretoria on that date.
Feature image: The ‘thwack’ of willow on leather will be ringing out come the T20 final on Feb 20 in PMB.
Consultation between the various parties and stakeholders found an amicable solution in moving the much-anticipated match-up between the two most successful sides in KZN schoolboy cricket this year a week forward.
Kearsney College under captain Cade Carmichael beat Clifton College in the KZN Coastal T20 final on January 31 while Hilton College under captain Colby Dyer beat Michaelhouse in the KZN Inland final on January 27.
The winners of next week’s Feb 20 final will qualify for the CSA Schools T20 Challenge Franchise Finals, to be held at Tuks in Pretoria from March 6th to the 8th.
KZN10.com website and social media wishes KZN Inland pitch curator and head groundsman Mr Wonderboy Khanyile everything of best in his pitch preparation for the match.
CSA Dolphins Franchise Schools T20 Challenge final
Date: Thursday, 20 February 2020
Venue: Pietermaritzburg Cricket Oval
Teams will be in colour clothing; white balls will be used.
Last year, first-time Dolphins franchise winners St Charles College were runners-up at the nationals after losing to St Stithians College in the final at Tuks.
Inland winners The Saints beat Coastal winners Westville in the 2019 Dolphins franchise final last year.
If my memory serves me correctly, the 2019 Westville first XI under captain Matthew Pollard beat Glenwood in last year’s KZN Coastal final.
In 2018 the Hilton College first XI lost in the national final to St Andrews School Bloemfontein, so it has been close but no cigar for the KZN10 schools in recent times.
There have been other national T20 finals in this event where the KZN10 school representing the Dolphins franchise have lost by a whisker.
To my knowledge, the Dolphins franchise Schools T20 champions have never won the national final, although I think Maritzburg College – and certainly Hilton College (at least twice, once off the last ball of the final) – have been finalists in the past.
Let’s hope the 2020 Dolphins schoolboy T20 champs will go all the way at the Nationals.
Clifton College first XI took advantage of the crucial toss of the coin to break the Kearsney College first XI’s outstanding 10-match winning streak at Riverside in Durban North on Saturday.
It appeared nigh-inevitable that the outcome of the 45-over match would be decided on who won the toss between captains Nabeel Jeewa (CC) and Cade Carmichael (KC) and it was the Clifton skipper who ended on the right side of the call, having no hesitation in electing to bowl.
Brad Morgan feature image: Clifton seamer Ronan Vardaya was on target at Riverside; onlooking Kearsney batsman Dylan Hulett continues to play valuable innings.
Heavy rain during the week and overcast conditions produced a Riverside greentop, which had the seamers on both sides eager with anticipation.
Batting was going to be a mission in the morning session, and so it proved.
Clifton’s seamers had the batsmen under the cosh, with Kearsney losing wickets at regular intervals.
The pick of the seamers was Ronan Vardaya (2-17 in 7 overs) and Josh Platford (1-21 in 9).
Not to be outdone, the Clifton spinners also extracted turn and bounce with Marco Mottura (2-30 in 9) and grade 10 Ross Montgomery (2-2 in 1) doing significant damage.
An interesting run-out, which was later repeated in the Clifton innings, added to the drama.
Only Kearsney’s Rubin Rheeder (34) and the in-form Dylan Hulett (28) managed some resistance in the difficult batting conditions.
And full marks to the efficient Clifton bowling attack that didn’t take its foot off the gas – Kearsney all out for 113 in 37 of the allotted 45 overs.
By the afternoon the wicket had flattened out in the sun and wind, with conditions therefore improving for batting.
True to form in a first term that on a number of occasions has seen victory resurrected from the gaping jaws of what seemed to be inevitable defeat, Cade Carmichael’s never-say-die Kearsney lads were not going down without a fight.
The Kearsney bowling attack made Clifton work hard for their runs.
Dean Gibbs (3-22 in 9) and spinner Josh Stocks – the picture of control and economy in taking 1 wicket for 9 runs in 9 miserly overs – kept the batsmen honest and Clifton eventually passed the target in the 35th over with seven wickets down.
Clifton’s Nabeel Jeewa played a captain’s knock in scoring a gritty, match-winning 57 and making exactly half of the total runs need for victory.
SCORES IN BRIEF
Kearsney College first XI 113 all out in 37 overs (Rubin Rheeder 34, Dylan Hulett 28; Ronan Vardaya 2-17 in 7 overs, Josh Platford 1-21 in 9, Marco Mottura 2-30 in 9, Ross Montgomery 2-2 in 1)
Clifton College first XI 114/7 (Nabeel Jeewa 57; Dean Gibbs 3-22 in 9, Josh Stocks 1-9 in 9)
Clifton won by 3 wickets
OTHER SCORES IN BRIEF
2nd XI: Clifton 160 (Moodley 44; Weyer 4-16, Van der Merwe 3-22) Kearsney 164/4 (Talbot 63*)
Kearsney won by 6 wickets
3rd XI: Clifton 103/7 (Moodley 42*, Klue 32; Kearsney 104/4
Kearsney won by 6 wickets
U16A: Kearsney 239/8 (Bergsett 96, Wiggett 56; Rein 4-32) Clifton 224/5 (Coleman 99, Strathmore 79)
Match abandoned due to rain
U15A: Kearsney 216/9 and Clifton 170/8 (Veitch 43, Mattis 52; Bishop 3-21)
Match abandoned due to rain
U14A: Clifton 115 (Behari 38; Khambule 3-21, Daya 4-19) Kearsney 117/3 (De Olivera 43*, O’Donovan 33*)
Kearsney won by 7 wickets
Saturday’s inclement weather put paid to the cricket and basketball fixtures between KZN10.com schools Kearsney College and Clifton College but there was a terrific first team water polo contest to wash away the blues.
Herewith a report from Kearsney:
Kearsney’s 1st water polo team played their final game of the season against Clifton on Saturday. The two sides were finalists in the recent Top 10 tournament which ended in a draw after full time and which Clifton won in the ensuing penalty shootout.
Tracey van den Aardweg feature image: Kearsney captain Tyson Andrews notched a hat-trick against Clifton on Saturday.
Expectations for this game weren’t high as Kearsney were playing their Stayers team, whereas Clifton opted to play their full team – which includes five KZN U19A players.
Both teams started tentatively, with Kearsney scoring the first goal through captain Tyson Andrews, but that was quickly cancelled out by a score from Clifton.
The teams then traded goals regularly with Kearsney goalkeeper Brett van Noordwyk keeping his team in the race with some excellent saving – and Kearsney’s Wesley Marshall scoring two superb goals to head into the break 3-3.
The 2nd chukka was tight with neither team being able to break the deadlock for the first six minutes. Kearsney’s 1st choice centre back Oscar Burgess-Barker was out through injury and things looked ominous when his stand-in, Tom Carmody, had to leave the water for medical attention after a blow to the eye.
However, that only seemed to invigorate the Kearsney Grade 9 as, once Tom returned, he had an excellent game – stealing the ball virtually at will from far more senior players.
Clifton managed to edge ahead 4-3 but that sparked a flurry of goals as Kearsney struck back with a goal from Luke Ambler-Smith followed by two counter-attack goals for Clifton to keep them 6-4 ahead at half-time.
The 3rd chukka started well for Clifton as they scored first to push them three goals clear and it was looking as if the momentum had shifted their way.
Kearsney’s Wes Marshall had different ideas though, and scored his third to give his side some hope. Clifton struck back, but Kearsney simply would not lie down and scored twice with Ambler-Smith completing his brace.
Kearsney were back in the game. Unfortunately for them, Clifton scored from a well-taken extra man to finish the chukka 9-7 ahead.
Once again the teams were deadlocked for the first half of the final chukka with Marshall coming close twice. A cheeky effort from Carmody broke the deadlock but was quickly cancelled out by another from Clifton.
Skipper Tyson Andrews netted his second to keep Kearsney in the hunt at 11-9. But Clifton were fortunate to get a penalty from a technicality and took the score to 12-9 with a minute to play. Andrews completed his hat-trick but it was in vain as Clifton ran out 12-10 winners.
Despite the loss, Kearsney can be very pleased with an excellent performance by their young team against one of the top schoolboy teams in the country.
Three of the four chukkas were drawn, and Kearsney have not scored more goals against Clifton before. It bodes well for Kearsney water polo in the years ahead.
The Kearsney College premier teams’ sports weekend was blue-chip basketball status and oh-so-close in the water polo final while the cricket could have been better, albeit against a Hilton College first XI that many regard as the strongest all-round team in the province and in the top echelon in the country.
Tracey van den Aardweg featured image: Tyson Andrews was named as Kearsney’s Most Valuable Player at the Northwood Stayers Tournament over the weekend.
Kearsney 1st XI 176 (Dylan Hulett 57, Louis Nel 48; Michael Booth 3/49 and a fifer for John Turner 5-37)
Hilton 1st XI 177/2 in 27 overs (Chris Meyer 65 not out, Nick Hatton 59 – for 1000 runs in a calendar year)
Hilton won by 8 wickets
Kearsney faced a formidable foe in the powerful Hilton outfit on Saturday and decided to take the bull by the horns, batting first after securing the toss. It was hoped that they could post a decent total, thereby generating some scoreboard pressure.
Kearsney enjoyed a dream start that few – if any teams – have been able to achieve against the potent Hilton pace attack. At (a scarcely believable) total of 61/1 after 5 overs- with a remarkable 48 off 30 balls from an on-fire Louis Nel – Kearsney could not have even imagined such a commanding position to be in.
However, the sheer pace of Hilton captain and genuine all-rounder Michael Booth (3/52) and head boy John Turner (5/37) was a game-changing factor. The tight leg-spin bowling of Colby Dyer also played a major role on a flat deck, which ultimately restricting free scoring.
Louis Nel’s upfront batting blitzkrieg aside, a patient, workmanlike 57 from the cricket-maturing Dylan Hulett was the only other significant contribution from what ultimately became a Kearsney innings under siege from what is arguably the best all-round bowling attack in SA first XI schoolboy cricket.
The Hilton bowling/fielding/catching pressure seldom lets a team off the hook – apart from the occasional unplayable Jaffa deliveries, wickets also fall due to injudicious shot selection brought about by the unrelenting pressure, and wickets also fall at crucial phases of the opponents’ innings.
Set a target of 177 in 45 overs, Hilton set about their task with intent and got the necessary runs with 108 balls still left in the bank.
Outstanding knocks from a long overdue Chris Meyer (65*) who has threatened many a time this season only to undo the initial great work, and grade 10 Nick Hatton (59) raced the Hiltonians across the line with a basketful of overs to spare.
It was yet another impressive Hilton display of batting, bowling and fielding… and this consistent Hilton side underlined once again why they are regarded as one of the top all-round cricket teams in the country.
* In this just his first year in the Hilton College first XI, Nick Hatton’s half-century saw the grade 10 go past the milestone 1 000 runs in a calendar year.
And with Hilton’s last first XI contest of 2019 still to come – the marquee Hilton/Michaelhouse match on Hilton’s Jack Hart-Davis Oval on Saturday, November 9 – allow us cricketing purists the hope that Nick’s rich vein of form continues.
Kearsney beat Hilton 57-39
Kearsney hosted Hilton College in the penultimate basketball game of the 2019 season for the schools’ premier teams. It started with a fast and furious exchange of baskets before the pace seemed to fizzle as the teams adjusted to the noisy fans and began to execute their game plans.
In the first quarter, Hilton had the best of the early exchanges; with Kearsney steadying the ship and applying better defensive pressure in the latter stage. Kearsney were able to score some easy baskets off Hilton’s defensive lapses in concentration, the first quarter ending 12-6 in Kearsney’s favour.
The second quarter saw a resurgence from Hilton, who seemed energised by the crowd, while Kearsney were unable to respond on defensive or offensive ends. Hilton won the second quarter 12-11 and played their best basketball of the match.
Kearsney regrouped at halftime, coming out focused to take command of the match in winning both the third (17-9) and fourth (17-12) quarters.
The fourth quarter saw a number of injuries to key Kearsney players, forcing them to rely on bench players to see out the game.
Kearsney’s depth of players has been one of their strengths this season and this was proved again in a match that was brutal at times because of the physicality as well as the sweltering heat.
It was not Kearsney’s best performance to date, but they managed to regroup and play with more intensity in the second half. Kearsney won the match 57-39, continuing their impressive win record at home.
Kearsney: Max Hastings-Brown (24 points, 18 rebounds); Oludolapo Morakinyo (7 points); Samkelo Jiyane and Aaron Smith (6 points each)
Hilton: Kwanda Mkhize (11 points); Johan van der Merwe (8 points)
Kearsney played in the Northwood Knights Stayers Tournament over the weekend. Buoyed by their recent success in making the Top 10 final, they were keen to gauge if the Stayers could live up to the high standards set by the 2019 first team.
Kearsney made a good start on Friday, beating the Invitational and Glenwood teams 12-5 and 10-7, setting them up for Saturday games against their opponents from the Top 10 quarter-final (Maritzburg College) and final (Clifton).
A convincing performance against Maritzburg College in the morning saw Kearsney run out 10-6 winners; followed by a well-disciplined 7-3 win against Clifton College, who were missing several players. This put Kearsney on course to play the hosts in the semis.
Clifton managed to set up a re-match with Kearsney for the quarter-final. Clifton were more up to the task this time and pushed Kearsney all the way. In the end, however, Kearsney were too strong and booked their place in the final by completing their double over Clifton 7-5 to go with the earlier 7-3.
The final was between Kearsney and Reddam Helderburg, who had cruised through their matches, winning each by six or more goals.
Kearsney may have been underdogs, but after a tense 1st chukka which ended 2-2, they raced to a 4-2 lead in the 2nd. The 3rd chukka saw Kearsney lose their discipline, allowing Reddam back into the game and to get ahead 5-4.
The last chukka was hard-fought, with Kearsney striking back to even things out. Shortly thereafter, Reddam scored a brace of extra-man goals. Kearsney were creating chances but couldn’t convert.
A good Kearsney long shot helped keep the pressure on Reddam, but it was too little, too late and Reddam held on for a 7-6 win.
* Kearsney College’s Brett van Noordwyk was named Best Goalkeeper of the Northwood Stayers Tournament while Kearsney captain Tyson Andrews (both grade 11) was named as his team’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Their excellent performances – and that of the team – suggests that Kearsney College water polo is in safe hands.
Kearsney College have had an outstanding weekend of sporting results in cricket, basketball, water polo and a squash tour to the Western Cape.
In addition, there are also three provincial cricket selections.
Tracey van den Aardweg feature image: Kearsney captain Josh Muller’s team were involved in an unforgettable KZN Top 10 final with the giants of water polo Clifton College.
Kearsney won the toss on a flat track and chose to bowl first to extract any early morning seam and bounce. It was soon evident that big totals would be the order of the day, yet there was also something in it for bowlers willing to toil hard.
Glenwood made steady progress despite losing wickets regularly. C Laycock (70) and M Halstead (41) were the pick of their batters. A 72-run partnership between L Moran and R Naidoo at the tail enabled Glenwood to finish on a formidable 250.
Excellent figures from Kearsney’s Matthew Murray (4/26) and Jared Brien (4/28) on the batter-friendly pitch ensured that Glenwood did not get 300.
Kearsney, a bowler light, set out to chase down the 250, backing themselves to do so with the extra batter. They did not start well, but with the classy Cade Carmichael in at the halfway mark, things looked positive.
Needing 160 off the last 25, with wickets in hand, it promised to be a riveting finish. And so, it was. Kearsney made 251/8 in the 48th over with two wickets in hand, thereby winning a very tense contest which ebbed and waned throughout. Carmichael (94), Chase Kelly (52) and Thomas Constable (31*) were the main contributors.
A substantial crowd witnessed an impressive run chase and the fierce competition between the two sides, interspersed with excellent individual performances, underlined why schoolboy sport is still a major drawcard.
Glenwood 1st X1 250/8 (Laycock 60, Halstead 41; Brien 4/28 Murray 4/26)
Kearsney 1st X1 254/8 (Carmichael 94, Kelly 52, Constable 31 n.o.)
Kearsney won by 2 wickets
Kearsney 1st team’s game against Glenwood was a decidedly one-sided match, with Kearsney coming away victors 116-11.
Kearsney played well from the start and the hapless Glenwood team were unable to prevent their opponents from scoring. The defensive intensity of the Kearsney team also forced a number of turnovers from the Glenwood team, which they were able to convert to easy baskets.
Oludolapo Morakinyo (20 points, 4 assists, 4 steals), Siyabonga Mpontshane (18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists), Ryan Wimbush (18 points), Max-Hastings Brown (10 points, 9 rebounds), Lefa Motshele and Michael Delport (10 points)
Kearsney 1st team reached the final of the U19 KZN Top 10 water polo tournament held at Clifton over the weekend, eventually losing to the hosts on sudden death penalties after a 6-6 score at full time.
Kearsney beat Reddam and DHS, losing their next pool match against Clifton 5-4 in an extremely hard-fought affair. They then had to dig deep to beat Michaelhouse.
Kearsney showed good discipline to win Sunday’s quarter final against Maritzburg College 7-5; putting them into the semi-final where they beat Hilton.
Kearsney started well, racing to a 3-goal lead. Hilton fought back but Kearsney stayed ahead with a disciplined defence. The final few minutes were tense with a couple of errors costing Kearsney goals, but they had done enough earlier and held out for a very satisfying 7-6 win.
The final started similarly, with Kearsney playing a controlled first chukka and going 2 ahead through Luc le Clezio and Ox Carmody.
Clifton pulled one back but that was cancelled out the next attack by a scorcher from Wesley Marshall. Clifton’s superior fitness started to tell in the 3rd chukka with two goals in consecutive attacks. Kearsney looked to be struggling but Le Clezio put in a long-range goal to keep them in front.
The 4th chukka was incredibly tense as Clifton’s relentless counter attacks started to pay off, and they scored two goals to edge ahead. Superb defensive efforts from Josh Muller and goalkeeper Brett van Noordwyk kept Kearsney in the game.
Tyson Andrews then netted his first goal, despite Clifton’s full attention to even the scores at 4-4 with 2½ mins to go. As the clock wound down it seemed no-one would break the deadlock, but with 14 secs left, Andrews scored a magnificent backshot to send Kearsney into raptures.
There was still more drama. Clifton called a timeout with 14 secs of the game left, using a new rule which allows the goalkeeper over the halfway line. The Clifton goalkeeper swam the ball up and, with Kearsney having to mark the other players, scored with a stunning shot to equalise at the buzzer.
The game then went to penalties with both teams scoring 4 and missing 1, after which it went to sudden death. Unfortunately for Kearsney, the fairy-tale ending was not to be, as they missed their 1st penalty to hand Clifton the title again.
Ox Carmody received his 100th 1st team cap for the Michaelhouse match.
Kearsney 1st squash team travelled to Cape Town to play in the annual Wynberg Stayers Festival over the weekend, and returned unbeaten, with Kamo Bikwane and Luke van Eeden both being undefeated through the festival.
The festival draws some of the top boys’ teams from around the country. Teams attending comprise boys from Grades 8-11, making it a great pre-season opportunity to prepare for the 2020 season.
Beat Kingswood College 6-0
Beat SACS 4-2
Beat St Johns College 3-3 (won on games count)
Beat York High School, George 6-0
Beat St Stithians 5-1
PROVINCIAL SELECTIONS: CRICKET
Kearsney has three players selected for KZN Coastal cricket teams.
U18: Jordan Bamber and Cade Carmichael (still U17)
U17: Joshua Stocks
Josh Steytler, who won gold at the recent 2019 South African and African Duathlon Championships held in Cape Town, has just signed a 12-month contract to run for Hillcrest Villagers’ Athletic Club’s Elite running team.
The Grade 11 learner from Kearsney College will represent HVAC in the Junior Men’s category at running events until mid-2020.
Josh has been actively involved in competitive sports from a young age, playing club rugby (Hillcrest Villagers’ Rugby Club) and club soccer (Westville Soccer Club) from the age of seven, and made a KZN soccer age-group team at 12, when they won the SAFU League Championship.
His passion for road running saw him win the U19 junior Men’s category at the Forest Hills Spar 10km road race last month in a time of 35:03. He finished 11th overall.
But triathlons are his first love, so Josh stopped playing club rugby and soccer this year, in order to compete seriously in triathlons and duathlons.
Josh’s dream is to compete in triathlon at the Olympic Games. Last year he was awarded full provincial colours in both duathlon and triathlon and was the HVAC Junior Runner of the Year.
Earlier this year he won silver at the SA and Africa Triathlon Champs in Durban, before winning gold at the SA and Africa Duathlon Champs in Cape Town.
At these Duathlon Champs in Cape Town, Josh competed in the sprint class – a 5km run, a 20km cycle and a final 2,5km run – which he did in 16:47, 31:06 and 09:26 respectively, recording the fastest 5km run time in the U17 and U19 male categories.
The unfolding journey of Kearsney College old boy Mpumelelo Mhlongo and his Tokyo 2020 dream has many rooting for the young man from Durban.
Being born with amniotic band syndrome left him with a shorter right leg, a deformed club foot and several deformed fingers.
For many with such disabilities on the African continent the future would indeed look bleak. Stigmatisation and exclusion from many societal norms dooms many to a life of poverty and lack of opportunity.
Told he would never walk by the medical fraternity Mhlongo defied all the odds by taking his first steps at 6 years old and has been moving since.
His records bear testament to the work that he has put in.
He is currently the South African 100m and 200m champion and the All-Africa record holder in the 100m, 200m, long and high jump for my para athletic category.
He is also the world record holder for the T44 men’s 200m and long jump, and pending ratification will also hold the 100m world record.
The opportunities he has received has left Mpumelelo with deep sense of gratitude and a desire to give back to the community that is so dear to his heart.
One of those opportunities was receiving a scholarship at Kearsney College where he eventually rose to the level of Captaining his more able bodied school mates. It was during this time that he developed his great drive for sports.
He is presently completing his Phd at the University of Cape Town whilst also pursuing his Tokyo 2020 dream. It seems that everything he touches turns to gold as he has won undergrade Sportsperson of the Year, for an unprecedented, four years in a row.
Mpumi now aims to use his story, journey and eventual success in Tokyo, to put a deserved global spotlight on Africa’s indomitable para athletic talent.
“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”—Malcolm S. Forbes.
Truer have never been spoken and we wish Mpumelelo well as he reaches for his dream.
If you want to follow Mpumis journey here are his details: