Cape Town - Hendri Herbst won a bronze medal in
an otherwise disappointing evening for Team South Africa at the 2012
London Paralympic Games on Friday.
Herbst bagged the bronze medal in the men’s 100m freestyle S11 event, touching in 59.60 seconds.
Bradley Snyder of the US won the gold medal, in 57.43, while China’s Bozun Yang took the silver in 58.61.
Herbst, who hails from Stellenbosch, was born partially blind and over the years lost the rest of his vision.
still has two more events and will be swimming again on Saturday and
Sunday in the 50m freestyle S11 and 100m backstroke S11, respectively.
du Toit finished fourth in the 100m backstroke S9 final, pipped to the
bronze by Elizabeth Stone (1:12.28), after Du Toit had the better of her
in the butterfly final on Thursday night.
The South African swam a fraction slower in the final, touching in 1:12.56 after completing the earlier heat in 1:12.52.
"This is one of my fun events and I’ve never done it at a Paralympics before," Du Toit said.
"Hopefully, day by day my confidence will get better and better.
"I just go out there and try my best but every race is special."
in the same final, South Africa’s Emily Gray finished seventh, also
swimming slower than she had done in the morning, finishing in 1:16.65.
gold medal went to Australian Ellie Cole, setting an Oceania record in
1:09.42 while the host nation’s Stephanie Millward took the silver medal
The fourth medal hopeful in the pool was Charles
Bouwer, but he too disappointed, finishing seventh, in 59.39 seconds, in
the men’s 100m butterfly S13 final, which was won by Ihar Boki of
Belarus in 55.50.
On the track, Fanie van der Merwe, leading
round the bend, had a speed wobble in the men’s 200m T37 sprint,
finishing sixth in 23.79 seconds.
The winner, Roman Kapranov of Russia, equalled Van der Merwe’s world record 23.10 which he set in Maputo last year.
side of my body is affected, so you tense up a lot and get a lot more
spastic," said Van der Merwe who suffers from cerebral palsy.
"My aim when I’m running is to stay as relaxed as I can and then focus on my posture."
The wheelchair basketball team fared better in their second match, despite going down to 74-50 to Spain.
"It was a tough match because Spain are much more experienced than we are," said South Africa’s captain Marcus Retief.
"We did come back though, in the second half, with better defence, more man-to-man, and this made a difference.
"In the end, the score wasn’t too bad because, at one point, it looked as though it was going to be much worse."
Retief said realistically, with South Africa being ranked 12th in the competition, they were not expecting to medal.
"Our goal is to get sixth position after finishing ninth in Beijing,"Retief said.
next game is on Saturday against USA, which will be another tough game.
We will have to play hard against them if we hope to win." Equestrian
Philippa Johnson and her horse Lord Louis were ranked 10th for Sunday’s
Grade IV final after competing in the team and individual tests.
"I’m aware of the pressure and the expectations South Africans have for me achieving a medal," Johnson said.
"But I have big shoulders and can carry the pressure.
I made too many mistakes today because my horse had an adverse reaction
to the sandbags, but he was cool as a cucumber considering this is his
Earlier, 19-year-old sprinter Anrune
Liebenberg recorded her personal best and set a new African record in
the women's 200m T46 heat, qualifying for the final in 25.79 seconds.
to qualify for their respective finals, but both setting new African
records on Friday were swimmers Renette Bloem and Shireen Sapiro.
Bloem swam 1:12.72 in the women's 100m freestyle S11 heat while Sapiro completed her 50m freestyle S9 heat in 30.87 seconds.
Kevin Paul also set a new African record in the men's 50m freestyle S10 heat, in 25.49 seconds, but failed to make the final.
van Zyl was sixth overall in the women's discus throw F35/36 final,
achieving 24.57 points in what turned out to be a controversial points
system resulting in the wrong athletes being awarded medals.
The situation was rectified while the local organising committee had to issue apologies.
Jaco Nel was hoping for better in his individual C2 pursuit but
finished 10th in 4:12.794. Only four cyclists go through to the final
Hoping to emulate Bridgitte Hartley's rowing performance
in the Olympics, Sandra Khumalo went through to the repechage of the
women's single scull ASW1x, completing her race in 6:02.38.