Paralympics 2012

Du Toit’s last farewell

2012-09-07 17:53
Natalie du Toit (Gallo Images)

London - Natalie du Toit will prepare for the closing chapter of her swimming career on Friday after powering her way into the women’s S9 freestyle final at the London Paralympic Games.

She swam her heat in 1:02.95 to qualify for her last ever competitive swim, two seconds ahead of her nearest rival Australia’s Ellie Cole.

Du Toit, who still held the world and Paralympic records -- 1:01.08 and 1:01.44 respectively -- said she was looking forward to her final race.

“I’m excited because it’s been a long 10 days for me,” said the single-leg amputee who promised herself she would pack up her swimming trunks when she turned 28.

“I’m a bit sad too, but the next couple of months will be busy with sponsors and those people who have really helped me along the way.

“They are really the ones who have kept me going, otherwise I think I would have gone out of the sport a long time ago.”

She said she has had several months to reflect on her achievements but was not quite sure where her future lay.

“Swimming has taken up many years of my life and taught me a lot of lessons,” said Du Toit, who would be competing for her eleventh and last Paralympic gold medal.

“Travelling the world has been a real eye-opener and it’s always going to be sad leaving the sport.

“But, looking back, it’s not just about inspiring a generation, it’s about showing people it is possible.

“Hopefully, people go out there and live life to the fullest, whether it be disabled people, old young or whatever.

“Every day you can learn something and I’ve always followed the advice that ‘the day you stop learning is the day that you will die.’”

Emily Gray, who competed in the same heats, was unable to qualify for Friday night’s final.

Hendri Herbst and Charles Bouwer, both visually impaired swimmers, also qualified for the respective finals.

Herbst, who earned a bronze medal a week ago in the men’s S11 100m freestyle event, set an African record in 5:08.87, finishing fourth in his heat and scraping into the final.

He will meet familiar competition in Bradley Snyder, from the US, who qualified fastest in 4:33.70.

Bouwer, with a gold and two silver medals already in his pocket, will have his work cut out against the irrepressible Belarusian, Ihar Boki.

Boki, who set his fourth world record at these Games, was fastest in his heat, in 2:09.89, with Bouwer swimming in his wake to finish second in 2:15.28.

** Sapa reporter is in London as a guest of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

SA bowls win third gold

2014-07-28 14:23

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @
    04:00
  • SS4
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @
    05:00
  • SS7
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @
    06:00
  • SS5
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @
    06:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Do South Africa's Olympians and Paralympians deserve equal monetary rewards for winning gold, silver and bronze medals in London?

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.