By Mark Etheridge
Ilse Hayes was the pick of the South African athletes at Saturday’s second day of the IPC Grand Prix event in Nottwil, Switzerland.
The small group of South Africans had a return of three gold medals, a bronze and a fourth place in their respective categories, on a day that saw the meeting focusing on the 100-metre events.
Hayes, based in Stellenbosch, scorched to a personal best and African record of 12.01sec to continue her good form of late (see her in action, right).
“I ran my third 100m PB today,” she told Road to Rio 2016. “Again, another African record and our world record in this classification is 11.99.
“Feeling really excited for the rest of the trip and just feel so blessed that I’m achieving all of this. All glory to God who has helped me get this far. Now I’m heading to Italy on Monday.”
The previous African record was the 12.22 that Hayes ran in Brazil earlier this month.
Also getting that golden feeling was Arnu Fourie who clocked 11.13 and Dyan Buis who was timed at 11.44. Both athletes were double medallists at the 2012 Paralympics.
Then there was Fanie van der Merwe who took a third (bronze) with an 11.65 season’s best while Charl du Toit who ran a personal best 11.83 for fourth spot.
Said Stellenbosch based coach Suzanne Ferreira who is with the group for their European sojourn: “It was a beautiful clean and crisp day that awaited us but I knew the performance of our athletes would be as crisp.”