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African record for SA at IPC Athletics World Championships

IPC

By Mark Etheridge

There were no medals on Friday for South Africa as the 2017 IPC Athletics World Championships started winding down in London but there was still an African record, personal best and season’s best for SA competitors.

That African record belonged to Maria Combrink in the F44 shot put as she threw a best of 9.61 metres on the night.

It was the Germiston athlete’s first IPC World Championships at the age of 40 and her throw was also a personal best.

She’s only been involved in para-athletics for just over two years and ‘I love throwing.

‘The atmosphere was something to behold and it was simply an incredible experience being able to take part in the competition.’

She’s a below-knee amputee having injured her foot in a hiking accident in the southern Cape where she suffered a four-metre vertical fall.

‘After three years of operations which didn’t succeed I opted for the amputation which allowed me to return to an active lifestyle. Now I can’t wait for the next para world championships in 2019,’ she enthused.

In the other finals of the evening involving South Africans Dyan Buis ran a season’s best 11.37sec in the T38 final but missed the podium by one spot while Andrea Dalle Ave took fifth in the T37 long jump with a 5.73m best on the night as China’s Guangxu Shang won in with 6.58m.

Dalle Ave told Team SA: ‘Last night was quite disappointing distance-wise. I ended up taking fifth place but I know I could have definitely been in the medals.

It was an interesting competition because all the jumps as I progressed started to feel better and better but that big one I was searching for just never came.

‘But it’s okay I really enjoyed the competition, the crowd was on my side and I’m just going to have to put it down to it not being my day last night.’

Qualifying events saw both Mpumi Mhlongo and Arnu Fourie, pictured above, going through in the T44 200m dashes.

Mhlongo ran a personal best 23.15 and Fourie 22.65, finishing second and first in their respective heats to progress to the next round.


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