By Mark Etheridge┬áin London
The small Southern Cape town of Riversdale awoke to a Paralympic sized hangover on Sunday morning after Dyan Buis scorched to a silver medal in London on Saturday evening.
The 21-year-old Buis ended second in the T38 200-metre track final, clocking 11.11 seconds behind Australia’s Evan O’Hanlon (world record, 10.79).
And Buis’ mom Daydreen became so excited during her son’s race that she had to watch a rerun on another channel later in the evening.
“Riversdale is ecstatic today,” Buys told Road to London 2012 on Sunday. “I was in touch with my mom and she said there was such a commotion in the house when they saw I was going to get a medal they missed the finish and had to switch channels later on and see the whole race!”
Sporting talent obviously runs in the Buis family because his 19-year-old sister Chandr├® won provincial colours for athletics and netball but this was the first time that the Ho├½rskool Langenhoven product has come up against a field this strong. “In Dubai I ran against a strong field but have never come up against Evan until now. Before the race I managed to stay very calm even though the atmosphere was absolutely amazing.
“I ran a perfect race for me. I was about fifth with 40m to go and and then when I got to my maximum speed I moved into the medals and it’s a personal best and Africa record for me.
“Apparently the commentators back in South Africa thought that when I bowed and kissed the track I was honouring someone who had passed away but it was just a spontaneous thing,” he laughed.
Coached by Stellenbosch’s Suzanne Ferreira, Buis suffers from cerebral palsy, something he was born with. “Doctors only picked it up when I started crawling. It affects my left side but I’m luckily not too badly affected. I don’t really feel it during a race only during a long training session.”
The good news for Team SA is that there should be a whole lot more to come from Buis. His main event is the long jump, an event he’s ranked first in the world while his 200m ranking is also second.
Buis will pocket R75,000 from SASCOC as reward for winning silver but he’s not even allowing himself to think about that yet. “I must first concentrate on the 200m and long jump before I can do that.”
Riversdale, the rest of South African and now even the world, will be watching him that much closer after Saturday’s show-stopper.