why on earth did Natalie decide to swim the 5km and 10km back to back? surely the 10km was her stronger event? sounds like she blew her chances by doing both
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Natalie 38th, Chad 23rd
- Updated: July 22, 2009
Paralympian Natalie du Toit found the competition too tough in Wednesday’s 10km open water final at the World Swimming Championships when she came home 38th in a field of 42, some four-and-three-quarter minutes behind the winner, Britain’s South African-raised Keri-Anne Payne.
The result of the men’s 10km open water final was only made official on Thursday, following a protest by the American team. The 19-year-old Durbanite Chad Ho, a heroic bronze medallist in the 5km final on Tuesday, did not feature among the medals.
Coming down from the high of the previous day he came 23rd out of 42 finishers, in 1hr 53min 13sec, some 66 seconds behind the gold medallist, Germany’s Thomas Lurz.
Du Toit, who had blazed a trail through the Paralympic arena since having her leg amputated following a motorcycle accident, finished 16th in last year’s Beijing Olympics in the 10km open water swim and the South African had expressed her confidence at being able to get to the top echelon of the discipline.
However, in the Italian coastal city of Ostia, she struggled in the 13th FINA World Championships and touched the board in 2hr 06min 22sec, which was some way behind Payne, the 2008 Olympic silver medallist. The 21-year-old Payne was born and raised in Johannesburg before moving to Stockport, England.
In Tuesday’s 5km open water final, Du Toit had finished 21st in 58min 56sec and was obviously suffering the effects of two tough races in the matter of 24 short hours. Payne did not swim in the shorter race on Tuesday, saving her strength for the big one.