South Africa’s Mhlengi Gwala competes in first Para World Cup in Funchal

South Africa’s Mhlengi Gwala competes in first Para World Cup in Funchal

By Doug Gray on 21/10/19 at 9:46 am

The victim of a vicious attack in Durban in March 2018 that almost cost him his leg, former South African Age-Group athlete Mhlengi Gwala‘s inspirational story of recovery from adversity continued at the weekend, as he raced in the PTS5 category at the 2019 Funchal Paratriathlon World Cup. His first experience racing at that level was an eye-opener, but has given him plenty of food for thought as he returns home to train and prepare for the 2020 season.

“It was a very hard race for me,” admitted Gwala, “the guys were so fast and I didn’t have a good race. Now i need to go home and work hard on my training, but it was a good experience. I know what I need to do next time.”

Home for the 28-year-old is the KwaZulu-Natal province on South Africa’s east coast. Taken to hospital after the incident that happened while out bike training, it was compatriot Henri Schoeman among the members of the triathlon family to help spread the word of Mhlengi’s plight, Schoeman’s appeal on social media receiving support from around the world.

As a 25-29 Age-Grouper at the 2017 Rotterdam Grand Final six months beforehand, Mhlengi Gwala had recorded the 13th fastest split for the 10km run at 34m25s. Once surgery was finalised on his horrific leg injury, he knew that it was always likely to be running that would present the biggest challenge to get back to anywhere near his previous level.

After a provisional PTS5 classification for Funchal, the coming months and the start of next season will be hugely important for shaping Gwala’s paratriathlon career. “The swim is okay and the bike is okay, but I have to land on the heel more because I can feel the strength isn’t there when I am running, i’m always testing it,” he told ITU earlier this year. “Of course my dream now is to reach Tokyo 2020. It is every athlete’s dream to compete at that level.”

See all of the Funchal Paratriathlon World Cup results here

PTS2 Men

1. Andrew Lewis GBR GB 01:13:55
2. Stuart Meikle GBR GB 01:15:18
3. Gianluca Valori ITA IT 01:18:58
4. Jose Joaquín Martínez Rincon ESP ES 01:40:02

PTS2 Women

1. Melissa Stockwell USA US 01:25:43
2. Veronica Yoko Plebani ITA IT 01:28:15
3. Cécile Saboureau FRA FR 01:32:35

PTS3 Men

1. Daniel Molina ESP ES 01:10:04
2. Nico Van Der Burgt NED NL 01:10:32
3. Michael Herter FRA FR 01:19:29
4. Joaquin Carrasco ESP ES 01:27:49
5. José Mendonça POR PT 01:44:39

PTS3 Women

There are no results for this program

PTS4 Men

1. Mikhail Kolmakov RUS RU 01:05:12
2. Jorge Luis Fonseca BRA BR 01:06:02
3. Sebastian Engwald Jensen DEN DK 01:06:33
4. Eric Mcelvenny USA US 01:08:10
5. Hávard Vatnhamar DEN DK 01:09:19
6. Jussi Lotvonen FIN FI 01:09:36
7. Denis Kungurtcev RUS RU 01:10:22
8. Juan Jesús Aguiar ESP ES 01:12:38
9. Oliver Dreier AUT AT 01:14:26

PTS4 Women

1. Kelly Elmlinger USA US 01:17:16
2. Svetlana Karama RUS RU 01:37:25

PTS5 Men

1. Carlos Rafael Viana BRA BR 01:00:25
2. Guenther Matzinger AUT AT 01:00:54
3. Ronan Cordeiro BRA BR 01:01:15
4. Aleksandr Konyshev RUS RU 01:01:39
5. Filipe Marques POR PT 01:03:14
6. Juan Carlos Cano Espinoza MEX MX 01:03:26
7. Joshua Kassulke AUS AU 01:04:02
8. Tetsuki Kaji JPN JP 01:04:23
9. Mhlengi Gwala RSA ZA 01:13:29

PTS5 Women

1. Gwladys Lemoussu FRA FR 01:14:43
2. Anna Bychkova RUS RU 01:18:07
3. Petra Lévay HUN HU 01:18:16

PTVI Men

1. Dave Ellis B3 GBR GB 01:04:28
2. Antoine Perel B1 FRA FR 01:05:24
3. Lazar Filipovic B2 SRB RS 01:05:50
4. Satoru Yoneoka B1 JPN JP 01:06:01
5. Anatolii Varfolomieiev B1 UKR UA 01:06:34
6. Federico Sicura B2 ITA IT 01:07:12
7. Kin Wa Chu B2 HKG HK 01:12:43
8. Rodolfo Alves B3 POR PT 01:22:04

PTVI Women

1. Annouck Curzillat B1 FRA FR 01:14:04
2. Ksenia Vibornykh B1 RUS RU 01:15:57
3. Lena Dieter B1 GER DE 01:16:07
4. Vita Oleksiuk B2 UKR UA 01:18:29
5. Atsuko Maruo B2 JPN JP 01:21:19
6. Victoria Klenova B3 RUS RU 01:24:59
7. Chloe Maccombe B2 IRL IE 01:27:51

PTWC Men

1. Florian Brungraber H2 AUT AT 01:05:38
2. Benjamin Lenatz H1 GER DE 01:06:42
3. Pier Alberto Buccoliero H2 ITA IT 01:12:40
4. Fernando Aranha H2 BRA BR 01:13:35
5. Joshua Landmann H2 GBR GB 01:18:30
6. Howie Sanborn H1 USA US 01:28:41

PTWC Women

1. Eva María Moral Pedrero H1 ESP ES 01:18:09
2. Jessica Ferreira H1 BRA BR 01:19:28
3. Christiane Reppe H2 GER DE 01:19:50
4. Margret Ijdema H1 NED NL 01:20:30
5. Mona Francis H2 FRA FR 01:23:24
6. Brenda Osnaya Alvarez H1 MEX MX 01:25:04
7. Leanne Taylor H1 CAN CA 01:36:43
8. Mary Catherine Callahan H1 USA US 01:37:35

Find more details about this event - 2019 Funchal ITU Paratriathlon World Cup