CAPE TOWN - KGOTHATSO Montjane and Charl du Toit “embody the Paralympic values of excellence, friendship and respect, and are fully deserving of the honour”, says Sascoc president Barry Hendricks about the duo being named as flag-bearers for Team South Africa at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Team SA announced yesterday that wheelchair tennis star Montjane and athletics ace Du Toit will hold Mzansi’s flag aloft at the opening ceremony today.
The duo are both taking part in their third Paralympics, following on from London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Montjane made it all the way to the Wimbledon final this year, and athletics sprinter Du Toit clinched two gold medals in Rio in the T37 category in the 100m and 400m events.
“I am really honoured to be a South African flag-bearer. I never thought that something like this would ever happen in my career,” Montjane said yesterday.
“But deep down, I always make sure I represent South Africa with pride. It’s a great moment for me, and I can’t wait to lead a team of talented athletes into the opening ceremony.
“It’s a moment to cherish and live for.”
The 37-year-old Du Toit was excited about his duty.
“I still don’t have words to describe being named one of the flag-bearers. I am a sports fanatic, and my biggest dream was to wear the green-and-gold one day,” he said.
“This definitely tops my sporting career. It’s the biggest honour that I could ever ask for. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be one of the flag-bearers for South Africa at a Paralympic Games.”
Hendricks added: “Both athletes are inspirations, not only in their own communities and sports, but are internationally respected as well. It was an incredibly difficult decision to arrive at, but ultimately, we are happy that
Du Toit and Montjane will share this honour.
“The Team SA Paralympic squad has 34 athletes and all are wonderful ambassadors for their country.
“We have no doubt that they will bring pride to South Africa, and having Du Toit and Montjane carry the flag is the perfect way to get the Team SA campaign going."