By Mark Etheridge
Day two of the Rio Paralympics swung into action on Friday.
Evening track action in the women’s 100-metre T37 final saw teenager Liezel Gouws take on a stellar field.
With the 400m being her preferred event Gouws was up against a stacked field and it showed as she trailed home last in 14.84sec.
But up ahead it was a world record from Britain’s Georgina Hermitage (13.13) who stole the spotlight as four continental records bit the dust.
Earlier, it was heats day in rowing and after Sandra Khumalo had ended fifth in her AS Women’s single skulls event earlier in the day, the LTAMix4+ crew rowed to third in their heat.
They clocked 3min 30.04sec as Great Britain (3:25.08) and China (3:29.66) edged them out. First boat in each heat went through to the final. South Africa (made up of Shannon Murray, Lucy Perold, Dylan Trollope, Dieter Roslee and coxed by Willie Morgan) now have to fight things out in the repechage to book a place in the final.
Coach Marco Galeone, pictured with his rowers above, summed up the day on the water: ‘Sandra didn’t have the best of performances, and Saturday she’ll be in the rep. A tough job for her, but let’s see.
‘The 4+ raced according to the plan and had a good performance with good speed. We will see if this will be enough tomorrow to progress to A final. It’ll be a tough rep as, China, just passed us in the last 200m and we finished in a tough rep against Canada, Australia and Ukraine.
‘Those crews are our direct competitors. The 4+ knew from the start that other than the two favourites, GBR and the US, there are six crews, including us, within a second.
‘Otherwise, the athletes are feeling good. Sandra is disappointed as you can understand but we just need to be on our game tomorrow and put out our best performance.’
Wheelchair tennis saw 2012 Paralympian Lucas Sithole win his first round quad singles match as he beat Japan’s Shota Kawano in straight sets, 6-1 6-2 in a 52-minute encounter.
And fellow London Paralympian Evans Maripa joined him in going through in the men’s singles. He beat Thailand’s Suthi Khlongrua 7-5 6-0 in 1:14 of action. Not so lucky was Leon Els who went down 6-3 6-3 after 1:21 to Hungary’s Roland Nemeth.
Earlier swimming action saw London backstroke bronze medallist Shireen Sapiro failing to progress in the S10 freestyle. She finished seventh in her heat and her time was 31.89sec.
There was also disappointment for another London bronze medallist as Hendri Herbst in the 100m backstroke (S11) ended fifth in his heat (1:14.44) and 10th overall, two spots away from a place in the final. However, the freestyle event is where he’ll be looking to shine.
But Emily Gray, who’ll celebrate her 25th birthday just after the Games end, qualified for the S9 400m freestyle final early on Saturday morning (SA time) with a 4:58.10 swim in the heats.
Cycling saw Dane Wilson in track action in the men’s C4-5 1000m and he ended in 17th spot (1:10.957).