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First day without medals for SA at IPC World Championships
- Updated: October 25, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
The third day of the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar may not have seen any medals for South Africa but showed there’s still plenty of Paralympic potential going forward.
Three South Africans were in action in this crucial championships which sees countries out to earn valuable slots for the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro next year.
Anika Pretorius (T13 400m final), Hilton Langenhoven (T12 long jump final) and Teboho Mokgalagadi (200m T35 heats) were the SA trio flying the flag for the rainbow nation.
Pretorius, was in London for the 2012 Paralympics but this is her debut on the IPC World Championships scene.
And her sixth spot in 1min 02.08sec will give her hope going forward.
The gold went to France’s Nantenin Keita in a season’s best 56.63 while Tunisia’s Somaya Bousaid’s 58.38 for silver was also a season’s best.
Pretorius (who won two medals at the African Games in Congo last month) had the slowest reaction time of the field, by far at 1.030sec and if she can sort that out she’ll be right up in the mix.
Said coach Suzanne Ferreira: ‘Anika showed great composure to stick to her game plan in the final. She will own this fairly new event soon.’
Bloemfontein’s Mokgalagadi missed out on qualifying for the next round with this time of 29.69sec in the second of two heats but will take heart from a season’s best return. His heat was won by Russian Dimitri Safonov in 25.62. ‘Thank you very much to all of you who supported me all the time and yes the race was nice and I came fourth in the 200m, with a SB time glory to God. And thank you to my heavenly Father for this blessed day.’
Disappointment of the evening for the SA team will be the fact that three-time Paralympian Hilton Langenhoven failed to record a single legitimate effort in all three of his T12 long jump efforts.
But Langenhoven gets to make amends right away when he goes off in the heats of the 400m on Sunday. He’s one of five SA athletes in action.
Three field event finals will be contested, the F38 shot put, F37 shot put and F38 long jump with Cape Town’s Reinhardt Hamman , Gerrit Kruger and London Paralympian Dyan Buis in action respectively.
Buis’ efforts will be interesting to see, given that the last time he featured in a long jump competition was at the London Paralympics.
The only woman in action for SA will be Lausanne Coetzee in the T11 1500m heats.
Picture of Mokgalagadi in action courtesy of Francois Nel/Getty Images
SA’s trip to the IPC Athletics World Championships is made possible by sponsors Nedbank, SASOL, Sport and Recreation SA, the National Lottery Distribution Fund, 361º and SAA.