'SupaPiet' races to course record in Japanese win | SASCOC - SASCOC

‘SupaPiet’ races to course record in Japanese win

By Mark Etheridge

London Paralympian Pieter du Preez raced to a course-record victory in the Oita Marathon in Japan on Sunday.
Du Preez lined up in the T51 wheelchair category and ended up breaking the course record as a bonus on top of his victory.
Said the Johannesburg-based athlete, known as SupaPiet in local sports circles: ‘I knew I could do something special here today but it was very windy and I had no one to draft with, so it was a time trial all the way. I ended up breaking that course record by 1min 43sec and my quality time of 2:30:53 is incredible.’
Quadraplegic Du Preez has also had more than his fair share of challenges to overcome this year despite notching up his fifth consecutive Berlin Marathon victory in Germany five weeks ago.
‘What made Berlin extra special was that I had major surgery on my femur which never united when I broke it (together with my neck) 13 years ago and I had to have an operation just four weeks before the Berlin race.
‘I now haven’t lost a marathon since 2011, and that’s 12 marathons, so I’ve been really blessed in spite of not being selected for Team SA for the Rio Paralympics.’
Du Preez and wife Illse had even more to celebrate in the land of the rising sun. ‘The cherry on top is that Illse is 13 weeks pregnant, so exciting times coming in the near future for us,’ he disclosed. ‘Next up is another Ironman in Australia in December and then I’ll take it easy for the rest of 2016.’
Also in Oita, South Africa’s Paralympic legend Ernst van Dyk raced his way to third in the T54 wheelchair division, but more to follow on that later.

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