Star of the Month
Star of the Month - September
2008/10/02 3:50:02 PM
We will announce the Sport24 Sports Star (or team) of the year in
December 2008 and we want you to be involved. Each month the editorial
team will announce up to five people for you to choose from, with the
monthly readers choice becoming one of the 12 finalists from which we
will choose our sportsperson of the year.
September's candidates are:
Natalie du Toit
You don’t need to say a whole heap here … Natalie was truly our golden girl at both the full Olympics in Beijing, where she proudly carried the flag at the opening ceremony and then performed typically tenaciously in the open-water 10 000m swim (first female amputee to do so), and subsequent Paralympics, where her “five golds” pool cleanup gave the nation a timely lift after our collective flop in the main event.
The prosthetic-limbed Blade Runner campaigned tirelessly at both “courtroom” and performance level to make the full Olympics cut, albeit finally in vain. But he then took out his frustrations in utterly commendable fashion by sweeping to gold at the Paralympics in all of the 100, 200m and 400m (T44) dashes. His indefatigable spirit has seen him “front” some prime-time television ads, too – no less than he deserves.
The visually impaired athlete was yet another individual star in a generally heroic Team SA effort at the Paralympics, where they placed sixth on the medals table. He romped to gold in the T12 pentathlon and long jump (both record times) and added the 200m for good measure. Oh, and judging by a Cape radio interview with her while Hilton shone so brightly in Beijing, he has a deliriously happy auntie out there!
This plucky South African has been thwarted a few times in his bid to be a motocross world champion … often by injury, including a major knee reconstruction. But he finally got it right in mid-September as he clinched MX2 honours with second place in the first moto at Faenza, the last GP of the season. His Red Bull KTM team were suitably chuffed; the high-fives just haven’t stopped …
The good folk of Maritzburg were rejoicing as one of their own, Minnaar, clinched his third mountain-biking world title after his fifth-placed finish in the UCI Downhill Series final event at Schladming. It sounds like the sort of place you’d pronounce surprisingly easily if you’d had one too many, and corks would certainly have popped in the Austrian town after Minnaar’s success.