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- Davids does the job on day one of Summer Series
- SA’s Strauss and Knox nail down Epic podium places
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Second gold for Hayes as SA move up the medals table
- Updated: October 30, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
It was six of the best as South African had their best day yet at the IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, Qatar on Thursday.
The team won one gold, four silver and a bronze and the six-medal haul sees them claw two places up the medal standings to 11th with two days of the competition still to run.
Golden girl for the second time this week was Ilse Hayes in the T13 100-metre final.
After winning the 200m earlier in the week, Hayes blitzed to victory in the shorter of the two sprints. She was a clear cut winner with a season’s best 12.37sec to beat France’s Nantenin Keita into the silver slot (12.53, the same time Hayes ran in the heats).
Hayes’ team-mate, Anika Pretorius was sixth in the final with a 13.21.
The silver medals went to Charl du Toit (T37 400m), Union Sekailwe (T38, 400m), Arnu Fourie (T44, 100m) and Jonathan Ntutu (T12, 100m).
The lone bronze medal went to Andrea Dalle Ave in the T37 long jump event.
‘Wow what a blessing to cross the line without any pain. So blessed with that,’ Hayes told Road to Rio 2016. ‘These Worlds for me weren’t cut out to be about running world records or running personal bests but rather about embracing every moment and taking it for what it is.
‘I had a brilliant start to my season and now I ended it off with two gold medals at the 2015 World Champs, so really proud of that.
‘I’ve had a tough two months after my back injury in August so I’m very grateful that I could live the moments here and enjoy every second of it. Definitely memories I will cherish forever.’
Du Toit’s silver came as he clocked a time of 51.74sec behind Russia’s Andrey Vdovin (50.99) but the South African had the satisfaction of running an African record.
‘I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet but I had a really “lekker” race,’ he told Road to Rio 2016. ‘I don’t think I have ever been so pumped up for a race! I am very happy with the execution of my race especially the first 200m felt really good. But yes I’m very thankful for how it turned out. I had struggled with a foot injury and I haven’t had any pain since coming here so I really want to thank my teammates for their support and a big thanks to Drs Wayne Derman and Dr Carolette Cloete! Now it’s on to the 100m today.’
As for Sekailwe, the Klerksdorp, North West athlete clocked a season’s best 52.78sec to end 0.16sec behind Colombian Velasquez Hooker. Said the 29-year-old: ‘I’m happy but not that happy because I was looking for gold but I’ll take silver, it’s fine and going to Paralympics as the second ranked athlete in the world is fine.’
And then Ntutu, the jovial Western Cape athlete (pictured right) went some way to making up for the disappointment of being disqualified for false-starting in the T12 100m.
He ran a season’s best 22.45 in the 200m behind Cuba’s Leinier Savon Pineda who ran 22.14sec.
‘Yes, I had a great race. The wind was not as quiet as it was the start of the week, but I’m happy with my silver,’ he told Road to Rio 2016.
And there was clearly a lot of emotion that accompanied Ntutu’s participation at these Championships.
‘The 100m I had wanted to run as a tribute to my father who passed away seven years ago and the disqualification hurt me emotionally. So I had to come out in the 200m and show that the DQ was just a blip on my radar. So very happy to walk away with a silver. That one’s for my fiancé Natasha and my son Siyabonga.’
The day’s other silver went to Fourie and it took a world record run by American Richard Browne to win gold in 10.61. Fourie was dragged along to an African record 10.93. Fourie has also previously held the African mark of 11.08sec set in London three years ago.
As for the day’s bronze medal it was nail-biting stuff for Dalle Ave in the long jump final as he secured bronze with a leap of 5.77m as Ukraine’s Andriy Onufriyenko won in 5.74m from Argentina’s Mario Tataren (5.73m).
‘My event ended off well and extremely happy with that,’ said Dalle Ave. ‘Although I’m very disappointed in my personal performance, I basically only had one good jump in and that was my “safe” jump after faulting the first two.
‘I was feeling extreme pressure on the third jump because if I faulted I would have been cut out the competition. But all in all, very happy with being third in the world and I’ll definitely take this experience and learn from it.’
Other SA athletes in action on Thursday were:
Mpumelo Mhlongo who ended seventh in the T44 100m final with a season’s best 11.43sec
Louzanne Coetzee who ran a personal best 2:42.49 in the 800m heats but failed to progress.
Another seven SA athletes will be in action on Friday with three of them being finals – the T47 100m (Anruné Liebenberg), the T37 discus (Gerrit Kruger) and the T44 long jump (Mphumelelo Mhlongo).
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.