Buis, Hamman, Fourie fly to full house of medals for SA | TeamSA - TeamSA
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Buis, Hamman, Fourie fly to full house of medals for SA

Buis

By Mark Etheridge

Another three medals came South Africa’s way on Saturday with a full house of gold, silver and bronze at the IPC Athletics World Championships in London, England.

It was Dyan Buis, two-time Paralympian and already a gold medallist earlier in the competition over 200m, who led the way with a great victory in the T38 men’s 400-metre final.

He clocked 50.87sec for the win, a season’s best for the Stellenbosch-based athlete.

Running in lane one, he beat Colombia’s Dixon Hooker Velasques (51.18) into the runners-up spot.

In the same race, Buis’ compatriot, Union Sekailwe, was one spot outside the podium places in 54.04.

‘One of my main contenders, Hu from China, was disqualified and to be honest it was a bit of a relief, although I feel really bad for him,’ said Buis about his race.

‘Because all the athletes were outside me, I could pace myself nicely. I went out hard for the first 50m and just used my momentum and systematically accelerated from 50 to 200m.

‘Then I gave it all around the bend, where they cracked. But the Colombian stayed all the way and my legs started getting tired. I still managed to keep momentum and got over that line first. It was a very, very close race.’

A triumphant Buis went on to tell Team SA: ‘It feels fantastic to be champion in two events again, and thanks must go to everyone behind me, my physio, my coach, my conditioning coach, my wife, child, my school (AF Louw Primary in Stellenbosch). The support from everyone means so much, and not forgetting SASCOC and the OPEX programme and adidas SA.

‘When I finished, it was very special when the young kids came running over to give me high fives etcetera, very, very special. As was the chance to sing the national anthem twice at one championships. What an honour.

‘Overall, I’m thankful to walk away from a successful championship with two gold  medals. I’m a lucky man. Now I’m looking forward to going home and starting to think of preparations for next year’s Commonwealth Games. I’ll be focusing on the 100m there, the possibilities are endless. Every step of these championships was for God.’

Rio Paralympics gold medallist Reinhardt Hamman also heaved his way to silver in the F38 javelin competition, while retiring Paralympic veteran Arnu Fourie signed off with bronze in his final international competition.

Hamman is the Rio gold medallist in the F38 javelin, but on this occasion had to settle for silver with a throw of 50.48, metres as Australian Jayden Sawyer won with a world record 52.96.

Hamman’s best effort of the competition came in the first of his six throws, and he didn’t manage to crack the 50m barrier in any subsequent throws. At the last World Championships in Doha two years ago, Hamman had set a championships record with a throw of 50.06.

But Cape Town’s Hamman was still satisfied under the circumstances. ‘It was a tough day at the office. I’m suffering from a bad spasm in my back, which started yesterday.

‘I managed to push through the pain and took the silver medal and also managed to throw a 50.48m season’s best for me.

‘I’m super proud to have represented my country here in London. Big congrats to Jayden from Australia on a well-deserved win. Despite my back, I’m still super happy with this silver.

‘Luckily I don’t have any big competitions left this year, so can heal properly.’

The third medal of the day went to Fourie. Like the other two medallists on Saturday, he also hails from the Western Cape region.

His final race in the international arena saw him taking third in the T44 200m final, with a time of 22.53. The race was won by American Jarryd Wallace (22.37) from Greece’s Michail Seitis (22.53, the same time as Fourie).

Back in fifth place was another South African, Mpumi Mhlongo, in 23.28sec.

South Africa’s three medals see them moving up four spots on the medals table to 16th spot, with a tally of 12 (three gold, seven silver and two bronze). At the top of the table China (57) and the United States are slugging it out for overall honours.


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