Commonwealth Games

Natalie wants to go with a bang

2010-10-05 07:55
Natalie Du Toit (Gallo)
w Delhi - South Africa's Natalie Du Toit on Tuesday said she wants to bow out of the Commonwealth Games on top, as she looks towards retirement after the next Olympics.

The 26-year-old athlete easily won her 50m freestyle S9 heat in New Delhi ahead of Australia's Annabelle Williams and Stephanie Millward of England. All three look virtual medal certainties in Tuesday afternoon's final.

"I definitely want to make an impression, seeing as it's my last Commonwealth Games, so I want to make it count," she told reporters after the race, which she said started abruptly, taking competitors by surprise.

"We were all just standing there chatting, then suddenly we got the word to get up on the blocks and go," she added.

Asked about her future, she said: "I will retire after London (2012), so I want to go out with the best results possible."

Du Toit, who lost her leg in a motorbike accident, is one of the world's most well-known para-athletes and has dominated disabled swimming at the last two Commonwealth Games and Paralympics.

She has held the 50m and 100m freestyle Commonwealth title for elite athletes with a disability since Manchester in 2002, has 11 Paralympic gold medals and competed against able-bodied athletes in the Beijing Olympics.

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