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Hayes hurtles to double sprint gold in Barcelona

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By Mark Etheridge

Three-time Paralympian Ilse Hayes remains right on track for the Rio Paralympics later this year… as proved by her reign in Spain at the weekend.
The Stellenbosch sprinter was in action at the 11th International Paralympic Meeting of L’Hospitalet in Barcelona as part of her Rio build-up and took part in the 100 and 200-metre sprints.
‘I was invited by the organisers so saw it as a great opportunity to gain some competition experience,’ she told Road to Rio 2016. ‘All the events from now on are all building blocks towards Rio in September.
The visually impaired T13 racer won both her events, clocking 12.53 seconds for the 100m and 25.48 for the 200m.
‘I really enjoyed the event….being out there on the track is what it is all about and I  loved every second of it.
‘Conditions weren’t ideal for fast times, we had a strong headwind in both races and it started raining just before my 200m race.
‘So I’m not focusing on any times at the moment just applying my race plan as well as I can in a competition environment.
‘It’s easy to get things right during training but to transfer it into the race is the real challenge. So for now its all about application… the times will culminate at the right time in Rio.’
Hayes, who won long jump gold and 100m silver at the London Paralympics, is sticking around in Spain for the next few days.
‘I’m training in Barcelona till 24 May and then I’ll meet up with the rest of my training  group in Nottwil, Switzerland.
‘I’m really excited to compete at the IPC Nottwil Grand Prix meeting. I’ve only competed there once and I have fond memories of that track.’
Meanwhile in Brazil, Tyrone Pillay and Union Sekailwe are in Rio Test Event action this week, Pillay in the shot put and Sekailwe in the 100 and 400m events.

Picture of Hayes in action in Barcelona, courtesy of Luis Sánchez “Luison”


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