SA bronze hero Sheryl James on Paralympic debut: 'There aren't any words to describe it'

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South African Paralympic medallist Sheryl James
South African Paralympic medallist Sheryl James
Roger Sedres/Gallo Images
  • On Thursday, South Africa's Sheryl James finished her Tokyo Paralympics campaign with a fifth-place finish in the 100m T37.
  • Earlier this week, James won the country's fifth medal in Japan after winning bronze in the 400m T37.
  • James, a farmer from Limpopo, says there "are no words to describe" her Paralympic debut and is looking forward to Paris 2024.

South African para-athlete Sheryl James is leaving Tokyo with happy thoughts and a bronze medal.

James ended her Paralympic campaign on Thursday with a fifth-place finish in the women's 100m T37 final.

It was James' final event of this year's Games, but she will not go home empty-handed after winning bronze in the women's 400m T37 final on Tuesday.

Running in lane six, the 35-year-old crossed the finish line third at a wet and rainy Tokyo, running a personal best of 1:03.82.

China's Jiang Fenfen took gold in 1:01.36 and Ukraine's Nataliia Kobzar took silver with a best of 1:01.47.

James, who was born with cerebral palsy, won the country's fifth medal at the Tokyo Paralympics and the first bronze of the Games.

"It's an honour to run against some of the best in the world. I believed I would but I just wanted to take whatever came," said James after sealing her first Paralympic medal.

"There aren't any words to describe it. It's a privilege to be able to run and be here." 

LIVE | Team SA's Tokyo Olympics coverage

James, who also finished fourth in the 200m T37 final, says she is delighted with her Paralympic debut and is excited to return home.

"I'm happy with it, I enjoyed my last race in Tokyo... I prefer the long distances," said James on Thursday.

"It was a very good experience and something amazing."

James, a farmer from Makhado in Limpopo, says that the Paris 2024 Paralympics is definitely her next obstacle.

"I'm going back to the farm, ride my horse and walk my dog. I'll just carry on training... Paris is on the cards, we're working on it."

Team South Africa currently sits on five medals - three gold, one silver, and one bronze - as the Games conclude on Sunday.

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