By Mark Etheridge
Just three South Africans were in action on Friday’s first day of the IPC Athletics World Championships in London.
The championships got under way with Charl du Toit proudly carrying the flag for South Africa.
The trio of SA athletes, all medallists for Team SA at the Rio Paralympics last year, cruised into their respective next rounds.
Versatile veteran Hilton Langenhoven ran the men’s T12 100m heats and it was a season’s best 11.31sec for him.
‘I’m OK, feeling fresh,’ said the Western Cape athlete. ‘I’m just doing the 100m as preparation for my main events and trying to qualify for Commonwealth Games.
‘My main events here will be the 200 and long jump.’
Langenhoven’s long-time friend, Jonathan Ntutu, was also in T12 action, running the heat after Langenhoven and also emerging with a season’s best – 11.05sec as both went through to the semi-final.
The third athlete in day one’s championship action for the rainbow nation was Anrune Liebenberg.
Rio silver medallist in the women’s 400m, the Stellenbosch based athlete ran the T47 200m heats and clocked a 25.94sec qualifier, the quickest time of the two heats.
‘London is a great memory for me as an athlete and a person and I was so excited to take part.
‘I’m overjoyed that I’ve stayed injury-free and have had a good season of training behind me. My heat went well and the last bit was so relaxed.
‘I’m feeling like a child to run the final tonight and am privileged to have my family here in the stadium tonight.’
Pictures of Liebenberg and Langenhoven courtesy of Kieran Galvin, Mike Hewitt/NurPhoto via Getty Images)Getty Images