Christian Sadie finished sixth in the final of the men’s 200m Individual Medley (SM7) in 2min 35.94sec – his second “African record” of the day at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Both the gold and silver medallists broke the world record with Israel’s Mark Malyard taking the gold in 2:29.01.
In the night’s other two finals, both at the Tokyo Stadium, Sheryl James finished fourth in another African record 27.57sec in the women’s 200m (T37). And in the men’s 100m (T37), final, defending Paralympic champion Charl du Toit finished 8th in 11.63sec, in a race where the American Nick Mayhugh broke the world record for the second time in the day, with a 10.95 for gold
Sadie had earlier qualified for the final as the sixth fastest overall as he clocked an “African record” 2:36.75. That earned him lane seven heading into the final.
He had finished fourth in the 2019 World Championship final, after taking the silver medal in the same event in the 2017 version in Mexico City. Here in Tokyo he carved 2.41sec off the time which gave him fourth in London two years ago.
Sadie’s “African records”, while announced as such in the official race results, might be removed if his entry time of 2:35.70, established in Durban in qualifying in April this year, is ratified as the official best mark.
Earlier there was only one final in the morning’s session involving a South African, and men’s F38 javelin thrower Reinhard Hamman finished sixth with a best throw of 52.49m. That was his best performance of the season but it was a red-hot field.
The world record holder, Australia’s Corey Anderson, and the Paralympic record holder, Ukraine’s Oleksandr Doroshenko, could only finish fourth and fifth, as Colombia’s Jose Lemos Rivas sent the spear 60.31m on his first attempt, breaking Anderson’s WR by 2.13m.
Hamman had won the gold medal at the 2016 Rio Paralympics with 50.96m, but there was to be no repeat performance here. The level of competition has proven to be of the highest standard and although Hamman was consistent, with throws of 51.13m, 51.48m, 50.24m, 52.24m, 52.49m and 50.78m, he was always lying just outside of the medals, especially after Lemos Rivas had opened with the best throw in F38 history.
Another Team SA gold medallist from Rio 2016, men’s T37 champion Charl du Toit, was also involved in a race where the world record fell. The American Nick Mayhugh became the first T37 sprinter in history to dip under 11 seconds with a scorching 10.97 in the same heat, with Du Toit taking fifth place. However, his 11.58 was enough to secure him the last remaining qualifying spot for tonight’s final where he has a chance to add to his Paralympic gold from five years ago.
There were two other Team SA members in finals action on Friday night. Sheryl James produced the race of her life to finish second in her 200m (T37) heat in a South African and African record 27.73sec, with each of the two heats seeing the Paralympic record fall as well.
A sign of how quick the athletes are going in Tokyo can be seen by the fact that James was some 0.65 seconds faster than the previous Paralympic record of 28.42 that had stood for 21 years, having being held by Australia’s Lisa Macintosh. China’s Xiaoyan Wen will be the strong favourite to win the gold medal tonight, but the 35-year-old South African has obvious medal claims of her own.
Also in finals action tonight was Sadie who also set a South African and African record in qualifying sixth fastest overall. He led through halfway of the men’s 200m IM (SM7) and touched the wall in 2:36.75.
Alani Ferreira became the third Team SA member to break a national and African record on Friday, but her 5:02.42 in the women’s 400m freestyle (S13) wasn’t enough to see her into the final.
ALL THE FRIDAY ACTION
Men’s Individual (W1), ranking round: Shaun Anderson finished 7th with 637 points
Men’s Individual Compound, Open, ranking round: Philip Coates-Palgrave placed 36th with a total score of 646 points
Men’s 100m (T12), heats: Jonathan Ntutu finished 3rd in his heat in a season’s best 11.23 but missed out on a place in the final
Men’s javelin (F38), final: Reinhardt Hamman finished 6th with a season’s best 52.49m on his 5th throw. The gold was won by Colombia’s Jose Lemos Rivas in a world record 60.31m with his first throw
Women’s 200m (T37), heats: Liezel Gouws finished 5th in her heat but was disqualified afterwards under rule WPA 18.5a for stepping out of her lane during the race
Women’s 200m (T37), heats: Sheryl James finished 2nd in her heat in an African record 27.73sec to qualify for the evening final as 4th fastest overall
Women’s 200m (T37), heats: James finished 4th in another African record 27.57sec
Men’s 100m (T37), final: Charl du Toit finished 5th in his heat in 11.58 and the 2016 Paralympic gold medallist qualified for the evening final as 8th fastest. The USA’s Nick Mayhugh set a WR 10.97 in the same heat
Men’s 100m (T37), final: Du Toit finished 8th in 11.63 as gold went to the USA’s Mayhugh with another WR, 10.95.
Women’s 400m (T47), heats: World champion Anrune Weyers finished 2nd in her heat in 57.59sec to qualify comfortably for Saturday night’s final third overall.
Men’s 200m IM (SM7), heats: Christian Sadie finished 3rd in his heat in 2:36.75 to qualify for the final as 6th fastest overall
Men’s 200m IM (SM7), final: Sadie finished sixth in 2:35.94, some 0.81sec faster than his earlier swim
Women’s 400m freestyle (S13), heats: Alani Ferreira finished 7th in her heat in 5:02.42 but missed out on a place in the final
Men’s Group D (Class 10): Mateo Boheas of France beat Theo Cogill 3-1 (15-13, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9) in a tight match that lasted 32 minutes
Women’s doubles, first round: Kgothatso Montjane and Mariska Venter beat Angelica Bernal and Johana Martinez (Col) 6-1, 6-1
Men’s singles, first round: Evans Maripa beat Thomas Flax (Austria) 6-2, 6-0 to move into the second round
Men’s singles, first round: Leon Els bt Gustavo Carneiro Silva (Brazil) 1-6, 6-4, 6-3
Compiled by Gary Lemke
Photo: Sheryl James by Roger Sedres