Dedeline Mibamba Kimbata

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Dedeline Mibamba Kimbata (born 5 February 1982) is Congolese Paralympic track and field athlete.

Personal life[edit]

Kimbata was born on 5 February 1982.[1] She was born to a poor family living in Kinshasa, the capital and the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).[2]

At the age of 18 she stepped on a landmine whilst crossing the border between the DRC and Angola. As a result, she lost her legs and had to stay in hospital for two years before being provided with prosthetic limbs by the Red Cross.[2]

During her stay in London for the Paralympics she applied for political asylum, since she feared prosecution in the DRC because of her protest against president Joseph Kabila.[3]

Athletics[edit]

Kimbata had played basketball as a teenager and in 2011 decided to take up sport again. With the assistance of religious charities she began wheelchair racing at the Acoshi athletics club.[2] She raced in her everyday wheelchair and despite her government providing funds to sports officials to buy her a racing chair it never arrived.[4] She competes in the T54 Paralympic classification.[1]

The International Paralympic Committee gave Kimbata a wildcard to allow her to compete at the 2012 Summer Paralympics held in London, United Kingdom, where alongside Levy Kitambala Kizito she made up the DRC's first ever Paralympic team.[4] She came to her training camp at the University of Bedfordshire without a racing wheelchair but had one donated to her by Kenyan Paralympian Anne Wafula Strike after the two were put in contact by The Dream, a charity campaign run by organisations in Britain and Haiti.[2][4]

At the Paralympics Kimbata carried the DRC flag during the Parade of Nations at the opening ceremony. She initially planned to compete in the F57-58 discus and the 1500 metres, but changed to competing in the discus and the T54 100 metres.[4] Her discus event took place on 4 September and the 100 m event on 8 September, both in the Olympic Stadium in the Olympic Park, London. She finished seventeenth in the discus with a throw of 9.29 metres.[5] In the 100 metres she finished seventh in her heat, in a season's best time of 23.08 seconds, but failed to qualify for the final.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dedeline Mibamba Kimbata". The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Topping, Alexandra (30 August 2012). "The Congolese Paralympian who first saw a racing wheelchair just weeks ago". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Diane Taylor (2012-09-09). "Congo Olympic and Paralympic team members seek asylum in UK". The Guardian. 
  4. ^ a b c d O'Connor, Ashling (4 September 2012). "Wildcard won't win but she will steal hearts". The Times. p. 5. 
  5. ^ "Women's Discus Throw - F57/58". The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "Women's 100m - T54". The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited. Retrieved 4 September 2012.