'This one is very special because I had Covid a few months before The Games' - Anrune Weyers
If Anrune Weyers seemed more emotional after winning gold in Tokyo than she did when she won her first Paralympic medals in London, that's because she almost didn't make it to Japan. That's because just a few months before finishing first in the women's T47 400m final, Weyers was bedridden by Covid19.
"This one is very special and the reason for that is I had Covid just a few months before the games," she told journalists at Toyota Motors South Africa's headquarters on Friday during a celebration that saw South Africa's Olympic and Paralympic medalists rewarded by the global motoring giant and official competition sponsor. "And I had it quite bad. There were three days where I couldn't breathe and I couldn't move around. I didn't know if Tokyo was a possibility for me at all. I'm a professional athlete and Covid hitting me that hard was quite frightening," she shared.
But not only did she manage to recover, she improved on her silver (400m) and bronze medals (200m) from #London2012. Weyers says she cannot take the credit for miraculous recovery. "There was a lot of tears, a lot of sadness. I started thinking if I would be able to run again. And it was just incredible how God held on to me with the support of family and friends. So this medal symbolizes what God has done in my life because being at The Games was an incredible gift for me and that's why I was so emotional," said the woman who also bagged two silver medals in her specialist 400m event at #Rio2016.
For taking gold in The Land of The Rising Sun, Weyers took home a cheque of R100 000 as Toyota rewarded gold medalists with R100 000, with R50 000 and R25 000 for silver and bronze medalists respectively. The Stellenbosch based athlete who has a congenital defect in her left arm said she was grateful for the money which would be used for her prosthesis.
"Being disable it's quite expensive to get prosthetic hands, liners etc. My prosthetic hand has helped me because I had five back herniations, so knowing that I have that financial support to put back into something that helps me have a good healthy life is important. So thank you very much for rewarding us and for backing us," she concluded.