SA's youngest Olympic athlete, Boipelo Awuah, forced to withdraw after injury

The 15-year old Northern Cape high school pupil was Africa’s only representative in the women’s street skateboarding event.

Boipelo Awuah and  Brandon Valjalo both got injured while practising ahead of their street skateboarding competitions at the Tokyo Olympics. Picture Team SA.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's youngest representative at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Boipelo Awuah, has been forced to withdraw after fracturing her pelvis while practicing for the women’s street competition.

The 15-year old Northern Cape high school pupil was Africa’s only representative in the women’s street skateboarding event.

Awuah has been ordered to rest for at least six weeks.

“There’s not much they can do to mend it for now and as long as it [pelvis] doesn’t snap, I’ll be OK. But I have to sleep on my back and spend time lying down. Standing up and walking hurts", she said in an interview with teamsa.co.za.

The skater from Kimberley never thought about the extent of her injury until she was ordered to rest for at least six weeks.

“It was just a normal fall during practice. I got back on the board and it was sore but not too sore. It was only afterwards that it got worse and the doctor had a look at it. It’s sore now, though”.

Skateboarding made its debut appearance at this year’s Olympic Games. Awuah and fellow South African Brandon Valjalois were part of the group of 80 skaters who were itching to ride their names into history.

Valjalo competed with broken wrist in the men’s street competition. He acquired his injury while training in Tokyo.

“Injuries are part and parcel of what we do. Other people damage their eyes by looking at a screen too much. We damage our bodies.”

The 23-year-old Brandon Valjalo, came 18th in the men’s street competition on Sunday.

Both Valjalo and Awuah were heading back to South Africa on Tuesday.

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