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SA’s Rio Paralympic stars on the podium in Paris

Rio

By Mark Etheridge

South Africa’s Rio Paralympic stars were out in force at the Paris Handisport Open track and field meeting in France on Tuesday.

Day one of the two-day competition saw the rainbow nation’s top sprinters racing.

Paralympic veterans Hilton Langenhoven and Jonathan Ntutu were starting the second leg of their European campaign.

And both Western Cape athletes were rewarded with season’s bests in the 200m for T12’s. Langenhoven was racing his first 200m after this year’s nationals in Port Elizabeth.

He lined up with the T13 field and came third in a time of 23.11sec.

Ntutu ran in a combined field with T11 athletes and won his particular race in 22.89.

With coach Paul Gorries happy with Ntutu’s race, given the training phase they’re in at the moment, Ntutu (pictured right) has targeted a time of 22.60 or quicker in his next competition.

As for Langenhoven: ‘ I did not execute well at the start,which cost me time, but I still managed to get a season’s best. So I’m satisfied with the 200m.’

Both will be in 100m action on Wednesday, while Langenhoven will also take on his specialist event, the long jump. Coach Raymond Julius says the intention is to clear 7m during this stage of the training phase.

‘The athletes are giving a big thumbs up to SASCOC and express their sincere thanks for the continuous support. Their next competition will be the Berlin Grand Prix where they hope to improve on their performances.’

Other South Africans in action were Rio Paralympics silver medallist Anrune Liebenberg, whose 26.14 was the fastest in the women’s  T46/47 class.

And double gold medallist Charl du Toit showed he’s back on the comeback trail after injury as he won the T37 200m in 23.93.

Fellow Rio gold medallist Dyan Buis was in bullish shape too as he won theT38 200m in 23.08.

Apart from the 100m and long jump action, field athletes Reinhardt Hamman (javelin gold in Rio) and Tyrone Pillay (shot put bronze in Rio) will compete in final-day action.


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