Sword lady to fight in Bulgaria

2017-02-23 06:00

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Khayelitsha fencing star Phakama Yantolo has been selected to represent South Africa in an international junior world championship in Bulgaria in April.

Yantolo, a Grade 11 learner at Uxolo High School and a member of the Khayelitsha Multisport Club, recently won a bronze medal at the u-20 at SA Junior Champs held in Soweto on February 5.

Her performance led to her being selected to the national team that will compete in Plovdiv - the second-largest city in Bulgaria.

“I am very excited to have been selected into this team I hope to raise the country’s flag higher,” said Phakama when Vision Sport visited her at Thusong Centre where she trains.

She has been fencing for three years now and is part of the Western Province high performance group where she also trains with the national coach twice a week in Rondebosch.

She is not the only one in her family to take fencing by storm, her twin sister Phumza is also causing waves with her eppee, which is what a fencing sword is called.

“So this is what happens with twins! Phumza got a bronze in cadets (U17) and Phakama grabbed a bronze in juniors (u20).

I just cannot tell them apart anymore. We are so proud of both girls that have come such a long way in just two years,” said Khayelitsha Multisport Club coach Jenny Blank O’Hanlon.

Despite the excitement and jubilation, Jenny is worried that they young fencer may not travel to Bulgaria if they fail to raise about R35,000 required to make this “dream trip a reality”.

“We need support to complete preparations for the trip but we are hopeful we will get help from a good Samaritan,” she said.

Jenny appealed to City Vision readers to help where they can.

“All kinds of sports need support from the community, business and ordinary people,” she said. Let’s make this happen for her,” she said.

Fencing is part of the modern pentathlon, which also includes freestyle swimming and show jumping. Khayelitsha Multisport Club (KMC) first introduced these unusual sports about three years ago

KMC athletes have had some amazing achievements since then.

“We have attracted a group of juniors from the immediate neighbourhood who continuously infect each other with their enthusiasm and aspirations to participate in sport codes so foreign to Khayelitsha.

One of the club’s top male fencers Athi Vuntu was invited to the National Fencing Squad and attends High Performance training with National Coach Misha Ghalhoukin.’ Call

If you want to help the club, call Jenny on 0824575208.

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