Ntando Mahlangu is a new sensation who recently earned South Africa its third gold medal during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. He defied the odds by setting a new record and proving he is abled differently. The win plays a significant role in his desire to demonstrate the importance of dreaming big to young children. It also sets an excellent example of how much a disabled person can accomplish with access to prosthetics, sports and education.
Ntando Mahlangu was born with a rare condition and had to be in a wheelchair for the better part of his childhood. However, he believed he was built for greatness. Ntando Mahlangu's parents supported his dream by allowing their son's legs to be amputated. While most people compare him to Oscar Pistorius, he insists he is different. He is great. His biography highlights why he believes so.
Ntando Mahlangu's profiles
- Full name: Ntando Mahlangu
- Nickname: Blades
- Date of birth: 26th January 2002
- Age: 19 years
- Horoscope: Aquarius
- Place of birth: Mpumalanga, South Africa
- Nationality: South African
- Languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Sotho
- Occupation: Para-athlete
- Disability: Amputated legs at the knee due to fibular hemimelia
- Sport: Para-athletics
- Competing for: South Africa
- Name of coach: Cathy Landsberg
- Events: 200 metres, long jump
- Awards and honours: Sportsman of the Year with a Disability in 2019, Differently Abled Sportsman of the Year in 2016, Newcomer of the Year award in 2016
- Ntando Mahlangu's high school: Afrikaanse Hoer Seunskool, Gauteng
- Facebook: Ntando Mahlangu
- Instagram: ntando_mahlangu_athlete
Ntando Mahlangu's biography
Fibular hemimelia triggered Ntando Mahlangu's disability. The condition affected the development of his legs below the knees. Therefore, he used a wheelchair for the first ten years of his life.
When he got his prosthetics, he had to deal with physical and emotional bullying from his peers. However, he built the mental fortitude to stand up for himself and always admitted he was going for gold in the Olympics.
Ntando Mahlangu's age
How old is Ntando Mahlangu? He was born on 26th January 2002 in Mpumalanga, South Africa. As of September 2021, he is nineteen years old.
Ntando Mahlangu's nationality
Ntando hails from Mpumalanga, Gauteng province, South Africa. He is South African. In the Paralympics, he is a member of the South African Paralympic team.
Ntando Mahlangu's education
Ntando was a pupil at Laerskool Constantia Park for his primary school education. He joined Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies) in Pretoria for his high school. He took his matric exams in September 2021, one week after his exemplary performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Accessing education was a hurdle for the para-athlete since the schools in his hometown could not accommodate him. Therefore, he had to stay away from his family in Pretoria and attend a school that catered for mentally challenged children.
Ntando Mahlangu's story
The star was born with a congenital condition, hemimelia. The disease had affected the development of his calf bones on both legs, so he spent the better part of his childhood in a wheelchair.
In 2012, medics recommended the amputation of his legs through the knees. His legs were fitted with a set of prosthetics. The procedure was sponsored by Avis South Africa.
Two weeks after the procedure, he could run around. It marked the birth of his dream to join the South African amputees who had put the country on the map through their exemplary performance on the big stage. By 2016, Ntando had become a world-class para-athlete and had bagged the silver medal during the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
What does Ntando Mahlangu do?
In 2016, Ntando competed as a T42 athlete in the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He bagged a silver medal in the T42 men's 200 m race.
Ntando Mahlangu's Paralympics performance
In 2017, he participated in the World Para Athletics Championships in London. He secured a silver medal in the men's 200m event. He also took part in the men's 100m, although he did not advance to the finals.
In 2018, during the World Para Athletics, changes were made in the classifications. Therefore, he competed as a T61 athlete. T61 was a class for athletes with double above-the-knee amputation.
In 2019, Ntando competed in the World Para Athletics Championships and secured a gold medal in the 200m T61 event. He was third in the men's long jump T63 event. He also qualified to represent South Africa in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Ntando Mahlangu's long jump video
Mahlangu secured a surprising gold medal in the men's T63 long jump during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Apart from his commendable win, he registered a new record of a leap of 7.17m. He also added the T61 200m title to his list of accomplishments.
Ntando Mahlangu's world record
According to Johan Synders, who designs Mahlangu's blades, it was never their intention for them to go to Tokyo to jump since the impact of jumping on Ntando's body would be too much. However, Mahlangu had dominated the 200m field, and he needed something to challenge himself. Therefore, they approached a technical long jump coach who taught Mahlangu about kinematics.
Ntando Mahlangu's gold medal is his first. It comes nine years after winning a silver medal in the men's T42 200m race during the Rio Olympics.
Ntando Mahlangu's movies
Besides his commendable performance and a promising future in para-athletics, Ntando was featured in a Netflix film. Rising Phoenix, which was released in August 2020.
Mahlangu is among the athletes featured in Rising Phoenix, and the documentary highlights how he overcame his condition to become a renowned figure.
Ntando Mahlangu was determined to be great despite his disability. He chose the road less travelled, and his success is proof that disability is not inability.
Tatyana McFadden's disability is Spina Bifida; hence, she cannot move her body from her waist downwards. Nonetheless, her medal haul is a testament to her success as a wheelchair racer.