Paralympics 2012

Hayes claims long jump gold

2012-09-07 21:53
Ilse Hayes (Gallo Images)
London - Ilse Hayes won a gold medal in the women’s F13 long jump final and golden girl Natalie du Toit made her farewell with a silver medal at the London Paralympic Games on Friday.

Hayes, winning South Africa’s sixth most-prized medal, leapt a distance of 5.70 metres to secure her position as Lynda Hamri of Algeria came second with 5.31m and Greece’s Anthi Karagianni completed the podium places with a best jump of 5.31m.

Du Toit bowed out of all competitive swimming coming second in the women’s S9 100m freestyle and said she had given her all to the sport and left without any regrets.

She was beaten to the touch by Australia’s Ellie Cole who secured the gold medal in 1:02.77 while Du Toit was a 68th of a second behind her in 1:03.45.

“Ellie is a great competitor and to get second place was a little bit disappointing but it’s still a medal and now I’m walking away from the sport,” Du Toit said as she broke down in tears.

“It’s been a tough couple of months for me so just to be here was special and I walk away with absolutely no regrets.”

Handcyclist Ernst van Dyk secured a silver medal in the men’s individual Paralympic H4 road race at Brands Hatch on Friday.

The 39 year-old from Ceres, in the Cape, who took the lead with a couple of kilometres to go, was beaten by a fraction of a second by former F1 racing driver Alessandro Zanardi.

The Italian, who lost both legs in an horrific CART series (American Champ Cars) in 2001, clocked 2:00.32 in the 64 km race at Brands Hatch, earning his second gold medal at the London Games.

“Zanardi is a smart racer and he knew if he took my wheel , he would probably get out in front of me,” said Van Dyk.

“When he came past me, he came with a lot of power and I was running low because I’d been in front for quite a bit.

But that’s the risk you take when you go out in front and I’m just happy to come away with a silver.”

Cyclist Stuart McCreadie came eighth in the individual H2 road race over 56 kms.

Other South African finalists who competed on Friday were swimmers Charles Bouwer and Hendri Herbst.

Bouwer finished fourth, just outside the medals in the men’s SM13 200m individual medley while Herbst came seventh in the S11 400m freestyle final.

On the track, Jonathan Ntutu set a South African record with his 22.37 seconds sixth place in the men’s T13 200m final while Jan Nehro came sixth in the gruelling men’s 5000m T11 final.

Nehro ran a season’s best 16:09.51.

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