Rushing Langenhoven gets gold in France | TeamSA - TeamSA

Rushing Langenhoven gets gold in France


By Mark Etheridge

South Africa’s Paralympic stars put the rainbow nation in the spotlight for a second day running at the Paris Handisport Open track and field event in Paris on Wednesday.

One of the busiest SA athletes was Hilton Langenhoven, who was competing in both the 100-metre and long jump events.

Both he and Jonathan Ntutu were in T13 action over the short sprint. Langenhoven’s season-best time of 11.39 seconds put him through to the final, but Ntutu’s 11.53 wasn’t quick enough to progress.

Langenhoven had to multi-task like a master. He opened his long jump campaign with a 6.71m effort. Then he had to dash off to the 100m final where he came third in a combined field with a time of 11.41sec.

When he was done with that he re-entered the long jump competition in the fourth round. Even with tired legs from the 100m dash he managed a 6.79m leap, which was good for gold in his specialist event.

‘Even though I didn’t get our goal of 7m this time, we’re still confident we’ll clear it at the next competition. It was unfortunate that the two events took place simultaneously, but at our post-competition discussion my coach, Raymond Julius, was satisfied with my performances and major improvements are on the cards as we build up towards World Champs in London.’

Next competition will be in Berlin, Germany, then into training camp and on to London for World Championships.

Explaining the unusual scoring system, Julius says: ‘The Paris Handisport Competition makes use of the French Scoring system to determine winners and athletes who progress to following rounds. This means that different classes will compete against each other which then makes a podium appearance very remarkable.’

Rio Paralympics double gold medallist Charl du Toit was in 100m action as well and he was satisfied with his season-opening T37 event over this distance, clocking 11.65.

Recently struggling with injury, Johannesburg’s Du Toit was satisfied with his work. ‘“I’m very thankful, I didn’t expect that time and I’m very, very happy. These last couple of months haven’t been easy, but my amazing team has stuck with me. To open up with 11.65, that’s just amazing – I’m very thankful for that and I’ll take it any day,’ he told the International Paralympic Committee website.

Still on the track, and Paralympics silver medallist Anruné Liebenberg won the T47 400m event, her 57.27sec putting her on top of the world rankings in her class.

It wasn’t the best of days for South Africa’s field events, with neither Reinhardt Hamman nor Tyrone Pillay truly happy with their events.

But both have had hassles in the build-up to this event. Hamman’s 50.21m in the F38 javelin saw him end second on points. ‘Without any doubt this has been my most difficult competition in recent years. Mentally this competition really drained me.

‘The struggle started on Tuesday when I was at the hotel with nothing to do but rest. Then today I walked into that stadium with all the built-up frustration and threw a 50.21m.

‘I’m currently suffering from a elbow injury, a new injury on top of an old one,’ said Hamman, who also underwent knee surgery after getting gold in Rio.

Shot put bronze medallist in Rio, Pillay had problems with his prostheses in the run-in to Paris.

‘It wasn’t my best comp and I struggled with the application of my technique today. ‘I broke my leg a couple of days before we left for Paris, so it wasn’t easy getting used to a new leg so soon. But hopefully with a month of preparation it’ll get better. I competed in a number of combined classes and came fifth overall. But my distance wasn’t great, 12.46m. I would have liked to throw over 12.8m, but these are all stepping stones towards bigger targets.

‘Johan Snyders from Ice Express had to work around the clock to get my leg ready, so I really thank him for that, so it’s a new leg, with parts of the history-making leg from Rio.’

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