Ellina Mhlanga Senior Sports Reporter
DESPITE missing qualification for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, seasoned wheelchair racer Margret Bangajena is content with how things turned out for her at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix held in Dubai recently where she picked up a bronze medal.
The 43-year-old came a distant third in the 800m event in a time of 3:26.17minutes.
Bangajena described the podium finish as a huge achievement for her and says at 43 she still feels she can still achieve more.
“It’s a big achievement to me competing at this international level. Age is just a number you can excel in as long as you are fit and strong.
“This Dubai competition I learnt a lot. I was racing with athletes with the latest racing wheelchairs comparing to mine. I was putting more power than them, I was disadvantaged because of my old model racing wheelchair,” Bangajena said.
The seasoned athlete said there were several challenges in the build-up to the competition especially limited time for training but is satisfied with the outcome.
She is now shifting her focus to other competitions and is hoping she can get competition soon.
“This was my first competition after a long break. I was happy because I was training here and there during this lockdown but you need a competition.
“After missing the qualification of course you will be disappointed but I was also happy because I brought home a medal and it was from one of the highest levels of competition. I have time now to look for a better racing wheelchair.
“Over the years I have learnt to never look back but forward and keep on training. So now I look forward to finding myself the latest racing wheelchair with carbon fiber wheels,” added Bangajena.
Bangajena remains one of the leading female wheelchair athletes in the country and has dominated the Annual National Sports Awards for some time in her category.