Tezna Abrahams Reaching Para-Athletic Heights

Tezna Abrahams started off her sporting career as a swimmer. This path came into motion after she had a near-drowning accident at the age of two, her parents then insisted she begins swimming, and like they say the rest was history … Fast forward to 2016 and Abrahams made the decision to retire and took a break but made her return to sport in 2022. Photo credit: Andries Kruger

Tezna Abrahams started her sporting journey as a swimmer, spurred by a near-drowning incident at the age of two. Her parents, recognising the importance of water safety, introduced her to swimming, setting the stage for her remarkable athletic career. 

Fast forward to 2016, Abrahams made the decision to retire from swimming. However, her hiatus from competitive sport was short-lived, as she made a triumphant return in 2022.

In a surprising turn of events, the 28-year-old spontaneously transitioned to track and field, opting to train for and compete in the 100m, 200m, and Long Jump disciplines. Despite her relatively recent foray into the sport, Abrahams swiftly rose to prominence. By 2023, she clinched the titles of South African 200m and Long Jump champion, shattered African records in Long Jump, and earned a finalist spot in the Cape Town Sports Awards for Female Sportswomen with a Disability.

Reflecting on her meteoric rise, Abrahams expressed incredulity at her rapid success. 

“It’s a whirlwind of emotions. If someone had told me I’d be at the World Championship six months after starting, I wouldn’t have believed them.”

100m, 200m, and Long Jump Para Athlete, Tezna Abrahams

Yet, her natural talent and unwavering determination propelled her to the global stage, where she finished 8th in the finals and secured an African record.

When asked about her transition to track and field, Abrahams attributed it to a spontaneous urge to explore new horizons. “It was a random idea,” she confessed. “I thought it could be fun to try track and field, so I gave it a shot, and it worked.”

Looking ahead to the Paralympics, Abrahams has already attained the minimum qualifying time for the Long Jump and showcased her prowess in the 100m and 200m events at the National Championships in Bloemfontein, securing personal bests. 

Despite her achievements, Abrahams faces the perennial challenge of funding her athletic pursuits. Like many para-athletes, she relies on crowdfunding to finance her training and equipment, emphasising the additional financial burdens faced by athletes with disabilities.

Abrahams, born with Ectrodactyly and a slight arm and leg difference, credits sport with transforming her life and imparting invaluable lessons. Her advice to aspiring para-athletes is simple yet profound: “Focus on what you are good at, and give that 110%. Your biggest competition is yourself.”

Outside of athletics, Abrahams indulges in her passion for dancing, particularly Salsa, Kizomba, and Bachata. However, her burgeoning track and field career leaves little time for recreational pursuits.

Despite her remarkable achievements, Abrahams remains grounded, with her sights set on continual self-improvement and a potential future in para-surfing. “Despite limitations, I refuse to let them hinder my dreams,” she asserts. “My journey as a professional athlete will continue for as long as I can.”


Photo caption: Tezna Abrahams started off her sporting career as a swimmer. This path came into motion after she had a near-drowning accident at the age of two, her parents then insisted she begins swimming, and like they say the rest was history … Fast forward to 2016 and Abrahams made the decision to retire and took a break but made her return to sport in 2022. Photo credit: Andries Kruger

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