The Free State and South Africa’s golden amputee long and high jump athlete Obed Lekhehle (19) has proven his ability to rise to the challenge internationally.
He won a silver medal in the high jump, T42 category, at the 2019 World Para Athletics Junior Championships held in Nottwil, Switzerland, from 1 to 4 August.
Obed’s achievement resonated perfectly with the championships theme “Face the Challenge”.
His success at his maiden international championship continued his steady rise to greater heights.
The global competition was for athletes from 14 to 19 years of age and they competed with the goal of getting a step closer to their dream of qualifying for the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan, from 25 August to 6 September.
Obed returned home victorious alongside teammate Arina Nicolaisen (18), who set a new 800 m world senior record at the international championships.
Obed jumped 1.65 m in the high jump event to clinch a silver medal.
His achievement on his international debut is special given that he missed out on the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships held in London, due to an administrative blunder with the required documents.
His determination propels him to excel against the odds, winning silverware at provincial and national competitions in South Africa, in both long jump and high jump events.
Obed’s dedication to sport is matched by his commitment to realise the dream to remain a winner.
In 2017 he set a new South African record in the u.18 category (T42) when he broke the national u.18 high jump record at the Nedbank Championship for the physically disabled in Port Elizabeth.
His effort saw him equal the Africa record.
In the same year Obed was awarded the coveted Let’s Play Sports Star of the Year of SuperSport and Express after he was chosen on merit for his impressive performances.
Obed lost his leg due to an unfortunate accident in 2008.
He was hit by a vehicle when he was just eight years old.
Obed has matured to look on the positive side, and set his aim high in life.
He is now a first-year student at Boston City Campus & Business College in Bloemfontein having matriculated last year at the Hendrik Potgieter Agricultural School in Reddersburg.