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Sprinter Charl captures prized 100-metre title at nationals
- Updated: April 2, 2015
Field athlete Hermanus Blom broke two African records on Wednesday, as sprinter Charl du Toit stunned a world-class field to highlight the second day of the track and field competition at the Nedbank National Championships for Physically Disabled in Johannesburg.
Blom became the first person at this year’s championships to set two continental marks, bagging victories in the men’s F13 discus throw (46.49 metres) and shot put (13.34m).
While there were no records set in the men’s T37 100m race, Du Toit, pictured above in Wednesday action, came out trumps in perhaps the most anticipated event on the programme.
The Commonwealth Games silver medallist displayed impressive form in the short sprint, snatching the gold medal in 11.74 seconds ahead of three-time Paralympic champion Fanie van der Merwe (11.90).
‘It was a very tough race against some of the world’s best. I had a good start and just accelerated from there,’ Du Toit said. ‘Fanie is one of my heroes and it’s an honour to run with him.’
Andrea Dalle Ave ended third in 12.51, after improving his own African standard in the men’s T37 long jump by three centimetres earlier in the day, leaping 6.05m.
Former Olympic silver medallist and current Commonwealth triple jump gold medallist Khotso Mokoena turned up to support him, along with the rest of their training group.
‘I’m nowhere near my peak (form) because we’re in a transitional training period in the build-up to the IPC World Championships in Doha in October, and it was great to break the record on my home track,’ Dalle Ave said.
Anruné Liebenberg also shone, clocking 13.03 in the women’s T47 100m dash to improve the continental record by 0.04sec.
Four other athletes – Gerrit Kruger (shot put, 13.34m), Christiaan du Plessis (javelin throw, 34.66m), Pieter du Preez (1 500m, 5:53:01) and Julius Lesenyeho (1 500m 5:30:61) – set African records in their respective classes, with all the new continental marks awaiting ratification.
Five-time Paralympic medallist Ilse Hayes, who broke her African 200m record the day before, secured her second gold medal with a 12.22 win in the women’s T13 100m sprint, missing her continental mark by 0.21.
She told Road to Rio 2016: ‘ I was a bit disappointed as I wanted to run a low 12sec. Conditions were a bit chillier which played a huge role in all the times. I didn’t have a great start but my last 60m was good so I need to work a bit on the first 30m. But that sub 12 will come this year and I’m patient for that moment. Overall I’m happy with my performances now for the able bodied nationals later this month.’
German athlete Irmgard Bensusan, who had bettered the 200m world record in her division on Tuesday, charged to the line in 13.16 to miss the women’s T44 100m global mark by 0.18sec.
‘I started slowly but I came through quite nicely, so it was ok. I’m happy with my race,’ she said. Bensusan had been one of two athletes to set world records on the opening day of the athletics competition, along with Liezel Gouws, who had crossed the line in 2:42.39 in the women’s T37 800m race.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, the penultimate day of the annual Nedbank National Championships, Gauteng went unbeaten in the seven-a-side football tournament to secure gold with a 5-3 win over North West in the final.
Western Province took the bronze medal after third-place play-off opponents KwaZulu-Natal were rolled over for arriving late.
Picture: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images