Just four years after he first learnt how to walk, 14-year-old Ntando Mahlangu stood on a podium to receive his first Paralympic medal.
The South African won silver in the 200m for above-the-knee amputees behind the defending champion, Richard Whitehead, of Great Britain.
Whitehead milked the applause, but the world had seen a future champion in the making from the land of the south.
First to Mahlangu’s run. His start was sluggish, he was behind coming around the bend, but once he had hit the straight and his awkward sideways swing from the hips had become a pounding of blades, he came within a breath of winning and almost a second ahead of Britain’s David Henson in third.
Mahlangu says: “I love to run. I knew that once I got into my stride that I would be okay.
“It’s not my preferred distance [he regards himself as a 400m specialist], but I showed that I can run fast over 200m as well as 400m.”