- Eight named to do Test duty against India
- Banetse has his eye on Umpetha Challenge podium
- Continental honours for Kimberley’s Fitzpatrick
- Harris home on a high after three victories on the trot
- Golden boy Hamman on the mend after surgery
- Hartley’s Dusi buildup gathers pace
- World’s top teams head for SA
- Sunshine Ladies Tour starts fourth season in January
- Weber wins SA’s final gold medal of African Champs
- Tough going in Tongyeong for SA’s Radford
Heartbreak for Paralympic ace just before Rio
- Updated: September 3, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
Merely by virtue of the fact that they’re at the Paralympic Games in Rio means that each and every athlete who’ll be in action has already faced one struggle or another.
So the 45 men and women representing Team South Africa are used to dealing daily with adversity.
One of them, Commonwealth Games medallist and 2012 Paralympian Charl du Toit, had another emotional curveball thrown at him on the eve of the team’s departure for Rio this week.
He lost his uncle Johan (his dad’s brother) in yet another victim to crime.
‘He was only 57 and it happened in a house robbery,’ explained Du Toit (pictured with his uncle above). He was in ICU for three months before he passed away.
‘It was in Pretoria, just about 3km from my parents place.’
Du Toit is current world record holder in the T37 100-metre event, with a time of 11.43 seconds.
But the period since his world record in May this year has been a frustrating one.
‘Since then my year wasn’t great at all. I struggled with illness, injury and of course the whole story with my uncle.
’So I’m just thankful I’m able to run full out again… and do what I love.
‘I’m really excited to hit the track and give it my all – and God’s will to be done.’