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Charl, Union make it 12 medals at Paralympics
- Updated: September 3, 2012
By Mark Etheridge┬áin London
Not even some inter-continental coaching could help our Charl Bouwer beat Belarus wunderkind Ihar Boki at the Paralympic Games here on Monday night.
That was the bad news but the good news is that Bouwer, as he has from the start of these Games, delivered the goods.
In this case it was a silver medal in the S13 100-metre backstroke event with a time of 59.92sec behind Boki’s world record 56.97.
His latest success means he now has three medals in London, one gold (50m freestyle), and two silvers ÔÇô Monday night’s and then Sunday’s 100m freestyle final.
But that wasn’t all as track runner Union Sekailwe fought his way to a bronze medal in the men’s T38 400-metre final. The total haul for the team now is 12 medals ÔÇô two gold, five silver, and five bronze.
Bouwer said he had spoken to coach Pierre de Roubaix in Stellenbosch earlier in the day. “He said that maybe I must go out really hard to try and put pressure on him for a change and maybe force a few errors.
“So I went out hard but he just went out even quicker… and when I tumbled I knew there were problems. I did some good underwater work but when I came up I could feel his wake.
“I just said to myself in Afrikaans ‘swem, Jannie, swem’ [Swim, Johnny, swim!] and gave as many flykicks as possible and went for silver.”
He still had some work to do as when he turned he was 1.23sec in arrears and only caught Greece’s Charalompos Taiganidis in the last 15m or so. The Greek was third in 1:01.10.
But Bouwer, despite defeat, was still in buoyant mood. “Look I only came sixth in this event in Beijing four years ago so there’s big improvement. Now I’ve got the 400m freestyle tomorrow (Boki is swimming again, so I’m going to look for a PB in this one.
“Then I’m so excited because I have two days off before the 200m IM on Friday so I’ll be going into London and doing a bit of tourist stuff, far away from the pool.”
On the track, while Bouwer was blitzing his way to medal No3, it was Sekailwe who grabbed third spot and South Africa’s 12th medal at the Games.
The 26-year-old Klerksdorp athlete, who doesn’t have a fulltime coach, ended with a personal best of 51.97sec behind Tunisia’s Mohamed Chida (50.43) and China’s Wenjun Zhou (51.56). In the same race
Sekailwe’s team-mate Marius Stander ended seventh in 53.62.
Earlier Pieter du Preez ended outside the medals with a 24.21 sixth place finish in the T51 men’s 100m final. Finland’s Toni Pisspanen took gold in 21.72.
In the basketball arena, our men’s wheelchair basketballers had their closest result of the tournament going down 54-79 to Turkey in their preliminary round match.
Top scorers were Richard Nortje, followed by Stuart Jellows (12) and Marius Papenfus (11).
And out on Eton Manor our women’s singles player, Kgotathso Montjane went down in the last 16, losing to Netherlands’ Jiske Griffioen 6-2 6-2.
In the men’s singles Sydwell Mathonsi pushed American Stephen Welch to three sets before going down 2-6 7-6 1-6.