18 Aug 2017 07:20am
WINDHOEK, 18 AUG (NAMPA) - Disabled swimmer Matheus Angula, also known as 'Spiderman', is in need of a cash injection to realise his dream of competing in the 2017 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Swimming Championships.
Mexico City will stage a nine-day festival for the 2017 World Para Swimming and Para Powerlifting Championships, with more than 900 athletes from 65 countries expected to compete for top honours from 30 September to 07 October.
Speaking to Nampa on Thursday, Angulas coach Sonja Lindermeier said the championships in Mexico will be used by all athletes as entry for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
We were told by the IPC that athletes who do not compete in these championships can forget about qualifying for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo as this is mandatory participation for all swimmers, she said.
The team is in need of N.dollars 70 000 for its flight tickets, accommodation and meals while in Mexico.
We know the country is currently struggling with the economic crisis, that is why we decided to sell raffle tickets to the public for N.dollars 20, but that money will not be enough if we dont get someone to sponsor this trip, she said.
Lindermeier said failure to participate in the games in Mexico will also result in the team being excluded from competing in any other major competitions ahead of the Tokyo 2020 games.
Angula was in 2016 classified to swim freestyle in the S6 category and breaststroke in the SB5 category.
He is currently ranked number one in Africa in the S6 category.
The IPC designated S6 and SB5 classes to include swimmers with a short stature, amputations of both arms or moderate co−ordination problems on one side of their body.
Angula competed in the 2017 South African National Aquatic Championships in Durban earlier this month where he managed to swim 59.79 seconds from the 01:01:96 seconds in the 50 metres (m) freestyle he swam in 2016.
He also took 20 seconds off his old time of one minute and 30 seconds (01.30) to obtain a new time of 01.10 seconds in the 100m freestyle.
Lindermeier told this agency the swimmer has been hard at work and is doing his personal best of 50 seconds in the free style event at training.
I am sure by the time the championships starts he will swim under 40 seconds in the 50m free style, she said.