University of Johannesburg athlete Andrea Dalle Ave proved talent has no limits when he set an African record at the recent Nedbank National Championships for the Physically Disabled.
Dalle Ave beat his own mark of 6.02 set at the 2012 London Paralympics when he claimed first place in the T31 long jump with a distance of 6.05m at the event hosted by the university from March 29 to April 2.
“It was a very emotional moment,” said Dalle Ave.
“To go out and break the record, my own record, at my home ground, in front of my family, friends and training group was one of the highlights of my career.”
The business management and communications student made his international debut for South Africa as an 18-year-old when he competed at the 2011 world championships in Christchurch, New Zealand.
He went on to compete at the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports World Games in Sharjah that same year, the London Paralympics and the world champs in France a year later.
“My favourite part of being an athlete is the honour in representing my country; not many people get to do that,” said Dalle Ave.
Besides his illustrious long jump career, Dalle Ave is also a competitive sprinter.
The 22-year-old placed fourth in his sprinting category at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year.
He said his long jump career took off when he swapped from sprinting to jumping and met his coach, Emmarie Fouché.
“From a young age I realised I could do something great in athletics. Emmarie helped push me in the right direction and got me involved in UJ Sport.”
Because the institution does not have an official Sport for Students with Disabilities athletics club, Dalle Ave put in a request to join the institution’s club for able-bodied athletes.
“My sporting philosophy is summed up with this motto: Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Next on Dalle Ave’s programme are the Grand Prix events in Switzerland, Italy and Germany, which will prepare him for the worlds in Doha in October.
He is also focused on claiming gold at the Paralympics in Rio next year.
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University of Johannesburg athlete Andrea Dalle Ave proved talent has no limits when he broke his own African long jump record at the Nedbank National Championships for the Physically Disabled. Photo: Supplied.
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