Paralympics

Natalie completes golden sweep

2008-09-14 15:30
natalie
Five gold for Natalie

Beijing - SA’s Olympic swimmer Natalie du Toit won her fifth gold of the Paralympics on Sunday, matching her haul from the Athens Games.

Du Toit took the women's 50m freestyle in a Paralympic record time of 29.20 seconds, finishing 0.13sec ahead of Russia's Irina Grazhdanova.

Du Toit, 24, said: “I was very nervous, because I knew it was going to be tight. Coming down the straight I didn't look anywhere in the pool.

"My race was to go out there and concentrate on the start and the finish and I think I got my finish right for once. My start was a little frustrating.”

Du Toit's victory in Sunday's sprint follows victories in the 100mbutterfly, 100m freestyle, 200m individual medley and 400m freestyle events.

‘Happy with performance’

"I think right now it's more the relief than thinking about five goldmedals," she said.

"It's not really about the medals, it's about going out there and doing personal best times. I'm happy with my performance."

The South African, who finished 16th in the Olympic 10km marathon swim, is one of only two athletes to compete at both Beijing Games along with Polish teenager Natalia Partyka, who won table tennis gold in her class.

Du Toit won five golds and a silver in Athens. She lost her left leg in a road accident in 2001, after narrowly missing qualification for the Sydney Olympics a year earlier.

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