Natalie to swim in Manchester

2009-03-25 14:04

Manchester - Natalie du Toit, the first female amputee swimmer to qualify for the Olympics, will compete at next month's Paralympic World Cup in Manchester.

The 25-year-old South African said on Wednesday that the 100m freestyle on May 25 was part of her efforts to build up her experience of international competition in preparation for London 2012.

Du Toit, who won five gold medals at both the 2004 and 2008 Paralympics, said she also planned to take part in an open water event in the able-bodied World Championships in Rome in July.

"2009 is the first year of my preparations leading up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and therefore I am taking baby steps," Du Toit said. "I had taken a two-week break after the Paralympics and worked up until the end of December in order for me to travel this year and gain as much international experience as I can, especially in open water swimming."

Du Toit, who finished 16th in the Olympic 10km open water race, said she wanted to swim in more open water World Cup events before the end of the year.

The Paralympic World Cup takes place in Manchester on May 20-25 and features more than 400 competitors.