Georges Langa, Vanuatu’s Para Rower from Mele is through to the finals in his division at the Aon Australian Para Rowing Championships on the Olympic Rowing Venue at Penrith.

This is just fantastic outcome as Langa is competing against the best para rowers from Australia and New Zealand, many of whom have international regatta and Olympic experience. This is Langa’s very first formal Regatta — so even getting to the final is a big win already – and for Vanuatu Para Rowing!

Langa rows in the LTA which is the Legs, Trunk and Arms sports class in Para Rowing. This class was also recently renamed PR3. He can use his legs, body and arms when rowing though his right leg is truncated and foot turned, this is a physical limitation that Langa has overcome. Rio Rii the Rowing Club’s Shed Manager is also through to his B Grade Final in the Aon Australian National Championships at the same venue.

Langa is now internationally classified which means he can compete at world championships and other international regattas. He doesn’t need to be classified again, unless his impairment changes or if there is a change in classification testing. As part of this classification process, Allan Kalfabun who has accompanied the Vanuatu Rowing contingent as Chef d’Equip, undertook classification training and has now qualified as an International Classifier, which will facilitate the classifying of other Ni Vanuatu para rowers in the future.

“A very important part of the pre-departure process was the very considerable time and effort of Dr Jean Phillipe King of EMC Medical Centre who generously gave his time, expertise and use of his excellent equipment to take X-rays, examine, photograph and attest to Georges’ physical status,” commented Margaret Macfarlane who co-ordinates the program. “Dr King himself rowed for France in his youth and his on-going interest and support is greatly valued as he donates these services to our fledgling team of para-rowers.”

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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