Team's SA's 2012 Paralympics medal hunt kicks off | SASCOC - SASCOC

Team’s SA’s 2012 Paralympics medal hunt kicks off

By Mark Etheridge in London

Cape Town cyclist Roxy Burns will be Team South Africa’s first individual athlete in action when the 2012 Paralympic Games swing into action here on Thursday.

Wearing bib No 130 Burns goes off in the 3000m pursuit qualification rounds at the impressive velodrome centre and her start time is 10.05am (UK time, 11.05am SA time).

Other codes kicking off their campaign are aquatics, equestrian and wheelchair basketball.

Burns and Jaco Nel are the only two cyclists in action on Thursday. Nel lines up for the one-kilometre time trial.

Said cycling manager Mike Burns: “This is not Roxy’s specialist event and she won’t be expecting to medal but the time trial is Jaco’s specialist event and he stands a very real chance.”

Roxy said herself: “The pursuit is definitely not my favourite. I have not trained much for it so I dont have much to say aboout it. But training has been very good ÔÇô it’s a nice track┬á ÔÇô warm and fast.”

First South Africans in team action will be dressage riders Anthony Dawson and Marion Milne in the Grade II team test (9am start) while Milne will also ride the Grade 1B Test also on Thursday.

Swimmers in action are Paralympics legend Natalie Du Toit and Beijing gold medallist Kevin Paul.

Du Toit who won five golds in Beijing has 100m butterfly heats in the morning and will be expected to probably bring South Africa’s first gold in the evening final.

Paul will be swimming the 200m Individual Medley heats in the morning and most likely the final in the evening.

The only true team event of the day is the men’s wheelchair basketballers who face probably their toughest test of the tournament first up as they play world and Olympic champions Australia at 8.45pm.