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Du Toit dashes to silver for SA in London

Du Toit

By Mark Etheridge

Double Rio Paralympics gold medallist Charl du Toit sprinted to South Africa’s ninth medal of the IPC Athletics World Championships in London, England, on Thursday.

Already having won gold in the T37 200-metre final, Du Toit had to settle for second and silver on this occasion.

He clocked 11.55 seconds as Brazilian Mateus Evangelista Cardoso won in 11.48, just 0.06sec outside the world record Du Toit ran en route to gold in Rio last year.

In the same race on Thursday evening, Du Toit’s training mate, Ruhan van Rooyen, placed sixth in 12.56.

‘On the race itself, I was very excited and keen to race. It felt like I had a good start and the Brazilian athlete a brilliant one.

‘I had to play catch-up from there on and well done for him keeping his posture and taking it through in the end.

‘He’s a brilliant athlete and a wonderful person! I’m really happy for him, he deserves it.

‘I wanted to go faster, but it is my fastest time this season and one of my top five times of my life. So I can’t complain. Today I’m a bit stiff and sore after the four days of racing. But I’ll loosen up in the heats on Saturday, let’s hope so.

‘I think what stands out for me is how we got together before and after the race to pray and give thanks to God for our talents and the opportunity to race.

‘It’s truly great to race with such wonderful athletes. It’s a massive honour to win another medal for our wonderful country and contribute to the teams’ medal tally. I can’t wait for the 400m. I really love that race.’

Also in T37 action was Rio Paralympian Liezel Gouws, the young North West athlete ending fifth in the women’s 400m final with a season’s best 1:09:54. The race was won in a world record 1:00.29 by Georgina Hermitage of Britain.

Gous told the Team SA website: ‘Firstly, it’s a great honour to be part of Team SA and be able to run against the world’s best athletes. This year has again been a busy, but blessed year. I didn’t have any injuries, which I’m very thankful for.

‘But I’ve been very busy as I’m in my matric year [at Hoërskool Wesvalia], so this year I’ve shifted my focus slightly to the academic side of things, but still working very hard to do well sportswise.

du toit‘I was fifth in the 200m final, which wasn’t the perfect race, but still a good learning curve. Then in the 400m I really gave everything I could, but in the last 150m I had absolutely no power left. I was aiming for a faster time, but I don’t know how God had planned the race for me.

‘I’ve still got the 100m heats and hopefully the  final on Saturday and am looking forward to giving it my all and trusting in God. He’ll run every step of the way with me.’

Meanwhile Rio Paralympic sprinters Jonathan Ntutu and Hilton Langenhoven failed to make it through to the semi-final of the T12 200m.

In the first of three semi-finals, Ntutu was third in 23.01 behind Algeria’s Djamil Nasser (22.74). Then it was Langenhoven, who ended second in 22.92sec behind another north African, Morocco’s Mahdi Afri (22.17).

Du Toit’s dash helped South Africa move up to 17th on the medals table with two gold, six silver and a bronze. China lead the way with 44.

At the last IPC Athletics Championships in Doha two years ago, SA ended 13th on the medals table with 17 medals.


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