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Hamman spearheads SA medal charge with javelin gold in Qatar
- Updated: October 29, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s medal tally motored into double figures at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Dohar, Qatar on Wednesday.
Two medals came the way of the small South African side, Reinhardt Hamman adding to his F38 shot put silver when he grabbed gold in the javelin event.
And Anruné Liebenberg, winner of the team’s first gold of the championships three days ago in the T47 400m, also won her second medal of the champs when she took bronze in the 200m dash.
The team have now won 10 medals with three days of competition to come at the Dohar Sports Centre.
Hamman left it late to snatch main honours before winning with a throw of 50.06 metres.
That saw him end 1.72m ahead of Ukraine’s Aleksandr Doroshenko.
Hamman opened with a 44.08m effort and steadily increased his distance but his penultimate throw was still only 46.91m and behind Doroshenko’s 47.48.
But the Cape Town athlete dug deep to haul out his winning effort with his final hurl. ‘Man was that a
crazy javelin competition,’ cerebral palsy sufferer Hamman told Road to Rio 2016. ‘Going into the competition I didn’t expect my competitors to be that strong. But after the third round I found myself in a rather strange position of fourth place.
‘I went back to my amazing coach Daniel Damon and he pulled me straight and on the last and final throw I bolted out the massive 50.06m throw. That throw bettered my previous PB of 48.34. I also broke the South Africa, Africa record and the World Championship record all in one throw.
‘I am so grateful to everyone that supports me. Without my coach Daniel Damon I would not have been able to do this, in my opinion he’s the best javelin coach in SA. My world title win in Lyon 2013 was 45.72, and my win yesterday was 50.06m that is a 4,34m improvement.
‘For a athlete with CP (Cerebal Palsy) improving with almost 5m is a huge amount. And the 50m was a major thing for me as my previous life best was 48.34.’
But Hamman is holding out for even bigger and better things. ‘Wow there is lots and lots to improve before Rio 2016. If there is one thing these Champs have taught me it’s that Rio 2016 is going to be even tougher than Doha 2015.
‘My coach and I would like to go overseas next year to go on a javelin specific camp so that we can have a very detailed training camp with the best javelin coaches in the world.’
As for Liebenberg’s bronze, she clocked 25.56sec in the 200m as Yunidis Castillo gained revenge for being beaten by the South African in the one-lapper earlier in the week. The Cuban won in 25.43 ahead of American Deja Young (25.53).
Meanwhile in the men’s T12 200m, Jonathan Ntutu went some way to getting over the disappointment of being disqualified for false starting in the 100m earlier in the week. He ran 20.60sec in the heats to go through to Thursday’s final.
Teboho Mokgalagadi was also in action in the T35 100m but despite running a season’s best 13.76 just failed to progress to the final.
South Africa has a busy day on Thursday with seven athletes in action.
And good news is that the addition of those two medals has seen South Africa climb up to 13th on the medal standings, proof that gold is the way to go!
Meanwhile T13 200m champion Ilse Hayes has reflected on her victory as she prepared to do duty in the 100m heats on Thursday.
‘Wow what a feeling. I was more emotional than on the podium at the Paralympics in London,’ she told Road to Rio 2016. ‘It must come with the age,’ she laughed
‘I just feel unbelievably blessed. Yesterday exactly two months ago I went to Doc Wayne Derman and for a MRI scan. I was diagnosed with a disc tear and also had wisdom teeth removed. I was in so much pain that I honestly wondered just how that how is it even possible to run again. Now, eight weeks later I receive the gold medal…what a blessing.’
These last two months were really tough. Missing out on the One-year-to-Rio celebrations and decent prep for world champs. I was fortunate to heal faster than expected so grateful for that. This was a huge miracle from God and I praise him for that.’
As for her actual race she was just as encouraged. ‘I felt strong in the bend last night. Something we have been working on… so glad I could apply that in the race. Now I hit the 100m…’
Picture of Hamman celebrating javelin gold is courtesy of Warren Little/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.