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Tyrone takes shot put gold at Rio Test event
- Updated: May 20, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
Durban’s Tyrone Pillay dug deep to strike gold in Thursday’s International Paralympic Committee (IPC) track and field meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Pillay who also won gold at last year’s African Games in Brazzaville, Congo, won the shot put event in the F42 category.
What’s more his winning heave was also a personal best for the KwaZulu-Natal athlete.
That was a throw of 13.49 metres.
He told Road to Rio 2016 from his hotel room in the small hours of Friday morning, still awake and savouring his achievement: ‘I started with a 12.74 which put me in the lead. But then the Brazilian guy took back the lead with a 12.98m throw in his third attempt.
‘I managed to get it back with my third throw with that 13.49. It’s a new personal best and 46cm further than my previous best I threw in London two years ago.
‘I’m also now 30cm off Fanie Lombard’s SA record in my category.’
Pillay competed in extremely wet conditions but said the rain let up at stages during the competition, watched by a disappointingly small crowd.
He now returns to South Africa on Sunday for the next phase of his training which will hopefully culminate in him coming back to Rio with Team South Africa for the Paralympic Games later this year.
Pillay was joined in Rio by fellow athlete Union ‘Magesh’ Sekailwe who placed fourth in the T11 100m sprint.
Said coach Alta Oelofse, who has coached Sekailwe since 2011 and is in Rio with her charge: ‘He ran a time of 11.84 which wasn’t his best. And for his race there wasn’t any rain and conditions were good. I think he was just a bit stressed.
‘He’ll run the 400m on Saturday which is his favoured event.’