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De Bruyn blasts onto the scene with 100m victory

A surprise showing by virtually unknown Free Stater Jacques de Bruyn saw him finish dead even with Paralympic medallist Jonathan Ntutu in his 100-metre event ÔÇô┬á the highlight of the athletics action at the Nedbank National Championships for Physically Disabled on Tuesday night.

De Bruyn started well in the 100m, after recording a fast time in winning his class in the 200m the night before, and surprised Ntutu, who won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Paralympics, finishing in the exact same time as him.

Both runners were awarded a joint gold in the T13 category as they finished in 11.14 seconds ÔÇô one of the closest races ever in the Nedbank Championships.

De Bruyn was ecstatic with his performance, as for the first time in four years competing against Ntutu, he managed to come close to beating him. The young athlete is one of the new stars at the championships who will be hoping to test his talent against the world’s best at the World Championships in Lyon in July.

ÔÇ£I’m very happy. I had a good pre-season so I’m ecstatic. Yesterday I won the 200m and this is by far my best run thus far as an athlete,ÔÇØ De Bruyn said afterwards. ÔÇ£I ran an A grade qualifying for World Champs yesterday and today it was the same. It’s amazing.ÔÇØ

De Bruyn, who hails from Brandfort in the Free State, but trains in Bloemfontein, believes the mentorship that Ntutu gave him helped him and motivated him to run the great time.

ÔÇ£It’s a great privilege to run against a guy like Jonathan, he has been at two Paralympics. He is really fast, I’ve struggled for four years to beat him and I think I finally did it.ÔÇØ

Ntutu was all smiles afterwards, admitting he was surprised to see De Bruyn push him so hard in the 100m. ÔÇ£I’ve got new competition. Yesterday when I spoke I didn’t realise he was faster in his 200m race. He surprised me because all these years I’ve been telling him to try something and train a bit harder. It’s great to see,ÔÇØ Ntutu said.

But with Ntutu aiming to peak in Lyon, he said his training regime may have hindered his performance. Still, he believes the endurance work helped him survive in the end. ÔÇ£We are training for the World Champs and this is a stepping stone. I have been doing some endurance work, so I think that helped me near the end.ÔÇØ

The race was just one highlight on an evening which also saw 100m victories for Paralympians Arnu Fourie, Fanie van der Merwe, Samkelo Radebe and Tebogo Mokgalagadi.

Wednesday will be the final session of track and field in the Nedbank Championships before a glittering ceremony closes off the three-day event.


1 comments
Dup du Plessis
Dup du Plessis

Hard work will never fail you !! "People mat doubt what you say, but they'll believe in what you do"!! Well done Jacques!! Trots op jou!!