Lenny Bailey from Kleinvlei hard at training after he bagged four medals at the Down Syndrome World Championships in shotput, javelin, discus and the relay. Photo: African News Agency (ANA)
Keeping up his winning streak, Lenny Bailey from Kleinvlei bagged four more medals at the Down Syndrome World Championships.

Now his aim is to make it to the 2020 Paralympic Games.

His overjoyed mother, Angelina Bailey, said her son had always been involved in sport and that she was proud of him.

“He was in a special school in Stellenbosch and he started running, but he stopped. He really enjoys what he is doing and doesn’t want to stop. 

"They come to train here at Bellville twice a week. They are busy with them now and maybe in 2020 he will be in the Paralympic Games,” she said.

She added that they enjoyed watching Lenny performing and that he did not do well when the family were not there to support him.

Lenny is a world record holder in shotput, and a champion javelin and discus thrower. He has consistently won medals locally and internationally since 2010.

The team from South African came second overall at the Down Syndrome World Championships.

According to his mother, he went to compete in Mexico when he was 21.

The family wished there was more support from the government in providing funding.

“When he competed in Durban, before they went to Portugal, we had to pay our own way and it’s not easy for us because we are not working. Luckily someone sponsored him to go to Portugal, otherwise he was going to have to stay behind,” she said.

Lenny said that while the competition was tough in Portugal, he was happy with his performance.

“I got gold in the discus and silver in the shot put and javelin. They also asked me to take part in the relay, and I got bronze in that. I was very happy,” he said.

His coach, Mogamat Lamara, said worrying whether he would get money to go to the world championships had affected Lenny's performance.

“The anxiety messed him up a bit and I saw the results. Although he came first in the discus, he was more than 5m short of his distance.

“Sometimes the situation gets too much. But I think he enjoyed the competition, and when he won the discus, I think it lifted his spirits a bit. Then he was chuffed when they asked him to compete in the relay.”