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Du Toit and Buis blast to double gold for SA in London

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By Mark Etheridge

South Africa waited four days to strike gold… and then hit pay dirt twice in the space of 20 minutes at the IPC Athletics World Championships in London on Tuesday.

Rio Paralympic gold medallists Charl du Toit and Dyan Buis were the men to do the job, winning the T37 and T38 200-metre finals respectively.

Du Toit, who did the 200/400m golden double in Rio, was first to celebrate as he ran a season’s best 23.27sec.

That saw him beat Brazilian runner-up Mateus Evangelista Cardosa by a 0.14sec margin. In the same race Du Toit’s compatriot, Ruhan van Rooyen, had the satisfaction of a 24.88 personal best in sixth spot.

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Just twenty minutes later and it was Buis who blasted to victory in the T38 classification.

The Riversdale rocket, now living in Stellenbosch, also clocked a season’s best, but his victory margin was that much tighter as he beat China’s Jianwen Hu by merely 0.02sec.

Just as in Du Toit’s race, there was more SA satisfaction as Union Sekailwe ran a season’s best 23.96 down in seventh spot.

Isn’t it amazing to see what the Midas touch does in terms of the medals table.

Going into Thursday, South Africa were in 31st position with six medals… two gold medals later and they’ve soared 19 spots up to 13th, as China have overtaken the US for top spot with 32 medals.

Also on the track was Louzanne Coetzee in the women’s T11 800m where she came third in a personal best 2min 27.65sec, as only the first two in each heat progressed.

A championships record saw Poland’s Joanna Mazur win the heat in 2:19.15.

The other SA action came in the field events where the evergreen Zanele Situ took part in the women’s F54 shot put final, not her premier event, and took sixth with 5.45m, as China’s Liwan Yang won with 7.43m.

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‘I was happy with my javelin earlier in this week… at least I did 17m, it was a relaxing competition.’

And so it should be, as her first IPC Athletics World Championships were back in 1998.

As for shot put: ‘Yes, it’s not my main event… I tried but at least I reached five metres. Normally I throw four metres or so but it was a cool competition.’

Saying she misses home, Situ’s not done at these championships. ‘I won’t be doing any shopping for the next few days, you’ll find me at the stadium supporting my colleagues full time. When I get home, I’ll be looking forward to my own bed, and South African food and water.’

Situ’s compatriot, Maria Combrinck, was throwing in the F44 discus final and took seventh spot with a best of 24.06 on the night as another Chinese athlete, Juan Yao won with a 39.72 effort.

And then in the F46 shot put final, Kerwin Noemdo took 10th with a throw of 11.86 as gold went to yet another Chinese powerhouse, Enlong Wei (15.64).

Pictures of Du Toit and Buis courtesy of Mike Hewitt and S Bardens/Getty Images


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