Team SA Start off strong!!

Natalie du Toit opened up Team South Africa‘s medal tally when she bagged a  gold medal at the London Paralympic Games after winning the  women’s 100 metres butterfly S9 final on last night evening.

After easing her way through the heats , she went on to win the final, for the third time in succession, in one minute, 9.30 seconds (1:09.30).

“I’m relieved to have got the first race out the way but a little disappointed with my time,” Du Toit said.

“I think I could have done a bit more, but that was my race and I can’t complain now.

“Tomorrow is 100m backstroke and that’s more of a challenge so I’ve got to concentrate on that one now.”

Sarai Gascon of Spain (1:09.79 ) and Elizabeth Stone from America (1:10.10 ) were second and third respectively in the closely contested race.

Du Toit will compete in the 100m backstroke on Friday, followed by the 100m breaststroke later in the week, and she will also attempt to defend her titles in the 200m individual medley, 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle events.

Kevin Paul finished fourth in the men’s 200m individual medley SM10 final after winning his heat in the morning session.

Paul said he surprised with his performance in the heats, setting an African record and a personal best time of 2:14.97.

“I’m only aiming to peak on day nine for my main event – the 100m breaststroke,” Paul said.

“It would be hard to maintain that level throughout the nine days so my coach and I decided to sacrifice a few events, which included this one.

“I’m older and more focussed than I was in Beijing and I can take more pressure.

“So I qualified for few more events just to build up to the 100m breaststroke and I wouldn’t be able to sit in the village for nine days doing nothing so this is just keeping me busy for my main event.”



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