Cape Town - Reinhardt Hamman, who won gold on Thursday at the Rio Paralympics, paid tribute and dedicated his first Paralympian medal to his late father.
Hamman has endured tough journey leading up to his first Paralympic Games. At the age of five, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in his right leg, which had him going for physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy throughout his life.
At the age of 13, he took up athletics and although he produced results, the Capetonian became frustrated and briefly stopped competing after he failed to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Games.
However, he soon returned and took the javelin world by storm by claiming back-to-back gold at the 2013 and 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships.
On Thursday at the Rio Paralympics, the 26-year-old and current world champion was looking to capture his maiden Paralympic medal, despite having the reigning Paralympic world record holder Oleksandr Doroshenko in the line-up.
Hamman threw a distance of 50.96m to edge out silver medallist Luis Fernando Lucumi Villegas of Colombia and bronze medallist Javad Hardani of Iran to take gold.
“Sitting with a bad knee, I was contemplating whether to actually stop halfway through, but the thought of my dad screaming in my head, that is something that kept me going," he told SASCOC.
Hamman’s father passed away in March this year and he dedicated his maiden gold medal to him.
“Everything is for him,” said Hamman in tears. “This is in his honour.”
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