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Man with double blades sprints

Ntando Mahlangu


South Africa’s teenage track star enjoyed a terrific season in 2017, dominating the World Junior Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland, with four gold medals and new 100m T42 (12.01) and 400m T42 (49.92) world records in the process – all at just 15-years-old.

Those achievements came just weeks after he won 200m T42 silver behind Great Britain’s Paralympic champion Richard Whitehead at the London 2017 World Championships.

Born with hemimelia, which meant his legs didn’t fully develop below the knees, Mahlangu spent much of his early life in a wheelchair.

Then in 2012 the decision was made to amputate both legs at the knee. In September that year Mahlangu received his first set of blades through the South African charity Jumping Kids – and he hasn’t looked back.

Four years later the South African lined up at his first Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. At just 14-years-old – one of the youngest competitors at the Games – he finished second behind defending champion Whitehead in the men’s 200m T42, setting a new African record (23.77) in the process.

Mahlangu’s potential had already been clear - in 2015 he won the 200m and 400m T42 at the IWAS World Junior Games in Stadskanaal, the Netherlands; a year later at the IWAS Under 23 World Games in Prague, Czech Republic, he won four gold medals and set what was then a new world record in the 400m T42. He returned home with the ‘Best Athlete of the Games’ award.


Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
T61, F61

Further personal information

Mpumalanga, RSA
Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Sotho

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up Para athletics in 2015 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Why this sport?
He was inspired to take up Para athletics after meeting South African Para sprinters Arnu Fourie and Samkelo Radebe, and seeing the medals they won at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
Club / Team
Is Ability Sport: Pretoria, RSA
Name of coach
Cathy Landsberg [personal], from 2015

International debut

Competing for
South Africa

General interest

Spending time with friends, football, mixing music. (, 18 Sep 2016)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning silver in the T42 200m at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Athlete, 12 Jul 2017)
Most influential person in career
His family. (Athlete, 12 Jul 2017)
Hero / Idol
South African middle distance runner Caster Semenya. (Athlete, 12 Jul 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I want to show people that if I can respect the person that I am running next to, then the other guy out there sitting at home can also respect his wife, his children; we can respect each other. You don't have to be the president to make a change in your country. You can just be a normal guy and you can make a change." (, 11 Apr 2017)
Awards and honours
He was named Para Athlete of the Year at the 2016 Gauteng Sports Awards in South Africa. (Facebook page, 16 Jun 2017)

He received the Newcomer of the Year award at the 2016 South African Sports Awards. (, 28 Nov 2016)

He was named the 2016 Sportsman of the Year by Laerskool Constantiapark in Pretoria, South Africa. (Facebook page, 16 Jun 2017)

He was presented with the Best Athlete award at the 2016 IWAS U23 World Games in Prague, Czech Republic. (, 29 Jul 2016)

In 2015 he was named the Overall Sports Winner of the Year, Junior Athlete of the Year, and Most Developed Athlete of the Year by the Gauteng North Association for the Physically Impaired. (Facebook page, 16 Aug 2016)
Other sports
He has competed in able-bodied athletics at national level in South Africa. (, 10 Apr 2016)
To become an engineer. (, 11 Sep 2016)
He was born with underdeveloped bones in both legs, which resulted in both limbs being amputated at the knee in 2012. (, 10 Apr 2016)
Other information
In 2017 he became an ambassador for US television channel Cartoon Network's anti-bullying campaign 'Be a Buddy, Not a Bully'. (, 05 Jun 2017)


Unit Date Rank
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m T42 Heat 2 2016-09-10 1
Men's 200 m T42 Final Round 2016-09-11 2
Men's 100 m T42 Heat 2 2016-09-14 3
Men's 100 m T42 Final Round 2016-09-15 5
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Men's 200 m T42 Final 1 2017-07-15 2
Men's 100 m T42 Heat 1 2017-07-17 10