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Records galore at National Championships in Stellenbosch
- Updated: April 2, 2014
After two days of competition at the Nedbank National Championships for Physically Disabled in Stellenbosch, 37 South African track and field records have fallen.
In addition five African records have tumbled in a championship that continues to highlight the excellence of disabled sport in this country.
In 2012 SA scooped 29 medals at the London Paralympics and with two years to the Paralympics in Rio, the next crop of potential gold medallists are emerging.
Ilse Hayes completed the sprint double and shaved 0.07sec off the SA record to reduce the women’s T13 100m record to 12.31 seconds.
Dyan Buis, Paralympic silver medallist in the T38 100m from two years ago, won his final comfortably in a time of 11.63. It was well off his SA record of 11.11 but Buis was unperturbed.
“I’m very happy because I was focusing on a lot of technical aspects I have been working on before the Championships,” Buis said.
“My start was good and my drive in the transition period of the race was also good. The conditions were a bit cold but there was no wind or any other issues. I’m hoping to break the 11 second barrier in the next year or so.”
Although the sprinters weren’t able to break records on the night there were some other impressive times.
Beijing triple gold medallist in 2008, Hilton Langenhoven, whose main focus was on the long jump at the championships, clocked an impressive 11.29 to win the T12 100m event last night.
“I didn’t expect the race to go as well as it did,” Langenhoven said. “My start was very good and I felt good all through the race.
“I initially expected more in the long jump (he won with a modest jump of 6.63m) and what happened in the 100m and 200m was just a bonus. My plan was always to do the 100m and long jump when I go overseas for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) meetings later this year and that hasn’t changed.”
Some other records to fall included the men’s F44 discuss where Simon Lean threw 40.83m.
Gerrit Kruger broke the SA and unofficial African shot put record with throw of 13.25 metres, which would have placed him fifth at last year’s world championships. “I’ll need to throw close to 15m to medal at the Paralympics in 2016 but that is the goal I’m working towards,” Kruger said.
In the pool Gauteng’s Emily Gray won seven gold medals and a silver in wide range of women’s S10 multi-disability events from the 50m butterfly to the 1500m freestyle.
Western Province’s Achmat Hassiem was equally dominant in the pool winning seven gold medals in the men’s S10 category.
The Championships conclude on Wednesday with athletics, goalball, football, boccia and cycling finals.