No luck for Charl du Toit, but Weyers on course for a medal at Tokyo Paralympics
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CAPE TOWN – Charl du Toit was one of the possible medal contenders for Team South Africa at the Tokyo Paralympics, but it was not to be for the 37-year-old sprinter on Friday.
Du Toit – one of the Team SA flag-bearers alongside Kgothatso Montjane at the opening ceremony – was defending his 100m title from Rio 2016 in the T37 class.
But this time around, American Nick Mayhugh set a new world record of 10.95 seconds to claim the gold medal, with Du Toit eighth in 11.63.
“I have to admit that I’m disappointed at how it went,” Du Toit said afterwards. “The body feels good after a bout of Covid-19 a month ago, so there are no excuses.
“But I expected more from myself time wise. I executed both races today similarly, which was disappointing in itself, because I expected a faster final from myself, not necessarily enough to be in the medals, but faster than what I did.”
Du Toit will now hope to retain his Rio 400m gold when he lines up for the one-lap race on Tuesday.
In the men’s javelin F38 final, Reinhardt Hamman missed out on a medal with a sixth-place finish in 52.49m, with Jose Lemos Rivas taking the gold in a world record 60.31m.
One of the sure bets for a medal is Anrune Weyers in the women’s 400m T47 category, and she advanced to Saturday’s final in 57.59 seconds.
“I am really grateful. It was definitely a spectacular moment to step out into the stadium – even though there were no people. I just had that goosebumps feeling, and just grateful to be here,” she said.
“Despite having Covid a month ago and having quite a struggle breathing, I am grateful that I am healthy and my lungs are 100 percent fine. I won the challenge against Covid.”
Another athletics medal prospect on Saturday will be Ntando Mahlangu in the men’s long jump T63 final.
On the wheelchair tennis front, Montjane and Mariska Venter were victorious in the women’s doubles first round against Colombia’s Angelica Bernal and Johana Martinez 6-1 6-1, while Evans Maripa won his first-round singles clash against Thomas Flax of Austria 6-2 6-0.
In the swimming pool on Friday, Christian Sadie produced a superb performance to set a new African record of 2:35.94, but ended sixth in the final of the men’s 200m individual medley in the SM7 category.