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Beaten Bouwer takes a break to regroup for Games

By Mark Etheridge
in London

Already a three-time medal-winner at these Paralympic Games, Charl Bouwer refused to be too hard on himself after failing to medal in the S13 400-metre freestyle final on Tuesday night.

Bouwer had won a gold and two silver medals in his previous three swims and was expected to at least medal in the 400m free, where he won gold in Beijing four years ago.

But he could only manage fifth spot as the Belarussian powerhouse Ihar Boki won yet another gold medal in world-record time.

“It just wasn’t my day today but I had three good days in a row so I’m happy.

“I now have two days off to rest and regain my focus soI’m looking forward to spending some time with the family.

“Boki did well, he’s an amazing swimmer he deserves the win.

“My next event is now on Friday and I will be well rested. It’s not my main one but I’m ranked second in the world and hoping for my best.”

In Wednesday morning’s pool action Natalie du Toit followed up her gold medal swim in the S9 400m free on Tuesday by qualifying for the final of the 50m free.

She went 30.14sec to be seventh fastest into the final, which she rates as one of her weaker events at these Games.

Also in the pool S10 100m backstroke bronze medallist Shireen Sapiro ended fourth in her heat to qualify for the evening final.

She set an African record of 4min 59.54sec to claim the eighth quickest time for the final.

And going through to the final with his first swim of the competition was veteran Tadhg Slattery.

A six-time Paralympian, 40-year-old Slattery’s 1:39.55 in the SB5 100m breaststroke was fourth quickest for the final.

However it wasn’t good news for Achmat Hassiem. A bronze medal-winner earlier in the competiton, Hassiem ended the 400m freestyle heat (S10) in last place with a 4:27.86 clocking.

In his defence though was that he was feeling poorly on Tuesday with a suspected stomach bug.

Out of the pool and on the wheelchair basketball court and our Amawheelaboyz ended their Games with a sixth consecutive defeat ÔÇô on this occasion in the 11th-12th place play-off.

They lost 83-36 to Colombia to end 12th. In their defence though was the fact that they went into the Games, ranked 12th, the lowest of all teams participating here.


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