Wimbledon finalist Kgothatso Montjane targets Paralympics podium
Wheelchair tennis ace sees herself as an ambassador for Africa
Kgothatso “KG” Montjane has set her sights on a podium finish at the Paralympic Games in Japan in August and the SA wheelchair tennis ace insisted she will celebrate whether she brings home gold‚ silver or bronze.
The 35-year-old Montjane has been riding the crest of a wave after she became the first black woman from SA to reach a grand slam singles final following her exploits in the Wimbledon wheelchair championship decider at the weekend.
While she lost 6-2 6-2 to world No 1 Diede de Groot‚ she was content with her performance against the Dutch player as her historic march to the final has also helped tick an important personal box that is part of her plan for the Paralympics.
The global showpiece will be held from August 24 to September 5, and Montjane said on Monday that her long-term plan is starting to come together.
Reaching the Wimbledon final “was obviously a great milestone and I have just been struggling through the hurdles‚ trying to do better as a player‚ to grow as a player and I am very happy with the performance.
“We all know that for the past four years it was all about preparing for the Paralympics,” she said. Wimbledon was just “preparation for the Paralympics, because I think that is the big one.
“To have made history again ... it is all about giving hope to my fellow Africans‚ my fellow South Africans and the country‚ to just never give up ... being out here was about being an ambassador and representing the continent really well and hoping I can inspire the younger generation to never give up in taking the sport [further].
“Other than that I am just grateful for what I have achieved and a big up to my team for never giving up‚ for soldiering on with me during all the struggles and making sure I get to be out here and competing.
“The plan was always about going to the Paralympics‚ making sure I am seeded and that has been ticked.
“From the first match I was telling myself this might be a quarterfinal for me in the Paralympics‚ getting into the last four‚ that is when I saw the podium and then the opportunity to reach the final sums it up.
“I do not care which medal I get in the Paralympics‚ as long as I finish on the podium I will be happy.”
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