London - Charles Bouwer won his third swimming medal and Union Sekailwe bagged a bronze on the track on an otherwise fairly quiet day for the South Africans in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London on Monday.
Bouwer added a second silver medal to his collection, which boasts one gold, in the men’s 100m backstroke S13 final.
Belarussian Ihar Boki set a world record touching in 56.97, three seconds faster than Bouwer’s 59.92.
The bronze medal went to Greece’s Charalampos Taiganidis who finished the race in 1:01.10.
“My coach told me to try and put pressure on Boki so he could also stress and make mistakes, but he went out faster than me so that didn’t work,” Bouwer laughed.
“When we tumbled, I realised there were problems and I’d never catch him.
“So I thought the only thing left for me to do was to swim my own amazing race and just push myself as hard as I could.
“I turned third and decided it’s now-or-never. I’m not going to catch this guy, so just go for silver.”
Bouwer said just before he got into the water, he heard his parents shouting “Go Charles”, which spurred him on.
“I’m really happy with my silver medal as I came sixth in this event in Beijing and it’s an amazing achievement for me.”
Sekailwe recorded a personal best in the men’s 400m T38 final, coming third in 51.97 seconds.
Marius Stander finished sixth in the same event in 53.62 while the gold medal went to Tunisian Mohamed Chida in 50.43 while Wenjun Zhou took the silver for China in 51.56.
Also on the track was South Africa’s only wheelchair sprinter Pieter du Preez. He came sixth in the men’s 100m T51 final in 24.21 seconds.
The podium finishers were Toni Piisspanen of Finland, who took the gold in 21.72, Alvise de Vidi of Italy who won silver in 22.60 while the bronze medal went to Algerian Mohamed Berrahal in 22.97.
Other South Africans to compete on Monday were equestrians Anthony Dawson and Wendy Moller who finished ninth and 16th respectively in the grade II individual dressage while Marion Milne was 13th overall in the grade Ib classification.
Kgothatso Montjane was beaten in the women’s wheelchair tennis singles in two sets, losing 2-6, 2-6 to Jiske Griffioen of the Netherlands.
Duane Strydom threw a distance of 35.64 metres in the men’s discus F35/36, three metres short of the gold medal winner Sebastian Dietz of Germany who had a best throw of 38.54.
In the women’s javelin F33/34/52/53 class, Zandile Nhlapo achieved a season’s best of 15.43 metres, finishing sixth behind gold medallist Birgit Kober’s 25.17.
Swimmer Renette Bloem failed to qualify for the women’s 100m breaststroke SB11 finals, finishing last in the heats in 1:40.61.
The men’s wheelchair basketball team lost 79-54 to Turkey, ending their Paralympic campaign as only the top four teams from each group would qualify for the quarterfinals.
South Africa were lying 23rd on the medals table with two gold medals, five silver and five bronze. - Sapa