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Natalie stars at IPC Swimming Worlds

Natalie du Toit was the star for Team South Africa at the International Paralympic Committee’s Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, Holland, which ended on the weekend, claiming six gold medals, one silver and one bronze.

Du Toit, who earlier this year was crowned the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability, ended on a high by dominating the opposition in the five-kilometre open water swim.

She completed the event in one hour and 22 seconds, finishing a massive six minutes and 26 seconds ahead of second-placed Elodie Lorandi of France.

Better than the men

Not only did she finish first among the swimmers in classes S1 to S10, she also bettered the best time swum by a man in the event. Australia’s Brendan Hall won the men’s race in one hour, one minute and 13 seconds.

Du Toit began the championships in winning form, picking up gold in the 100 metres S9 class on the opening day in a time of 1:08.30, more than two-and-a-half seconds clear of second-placed Sarai Gasco. It wasn’t as fast as Du Toit’s own world record, however, which she set at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

On day two she contested the 200 metres individual medley in the SM9 class and again was too much for her opponents, winning the gold medal in 2:32.11, with Louise Watkin some way back in second in 2:37.71.

On the same day she took part in the 100 metres breaststroke in the SB 8 class and finished in the bronze medal position.

Du Toit scored her third gold medal on day three when she won the 100 metres freestyle in 1:02.79. As happened in a number of her events during the course of the championships, she didn’t set a new world record (something that has become almost a common occurrence), but that was once again because the record belonged to her already.

Massive vicory

The next day Du Toit was the winner of the 400 metres freestyle in 4:30.64, which saw her bettering second-placed Stephanie Millward by a massive 16.23 seconds.

The South African golden girl was a little off her best on the fifth day of competition, having to settle for second in the 50 metres freestyle in 29.65 seconds. Louise Watkin won in 29.26 – 0.22 seconds off Du Toit’s world record.

On day six, Du Toit captured the 100 metres backstroke title in the S9 category in 1:09.93, with world record holder Stephanie Dixon (1:09.30) relegated to third place.

More South African medals

Kevin Paul won silver the 100 metres breaststroke in the men’s SB 9 class. His time of 1:07.29 was a South African record.

Charl Bouwer collected two silver medals. He finished behind Dzmitry Salei in the 100 metres freestyle in the S13 category in 53.38 seconds, just 0.01 seconds outside the previous world record. Salei, however, set a new mark of 53.15.

Bouwer was second in the 400 metres freestyle in 4:11.77, well inside the world record that he had held of 4:13.10. Unfortunately for the South African, Ihar Boki had destroyed the previous mark, racing to victory in 4:06.91.

Medals table

South Africa finished 13th on the medals table. Only three countries bettered Du Toit’s personal haul of six gold medals in women’s events.

Ukraine topped the table, just ahead of the USA, with Russia in third place.

While South Africa’s medal haul was not a big one, many swimmers qualified for finals and came close to landing more medals besides those won, underlining the fact that Paralympic swimming is in good health in the country.

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Natalie wins sixth gold at IPC

Natalie Du Toit swam to her sixth gold medal of the IPC World Swimming Championships when she won the open water 5-kilometre swim (S9 category) in Eindhoven, Netherlands on Saturday.

Du Toit clocked 1hr 00min 20sec for victory. She will now return to South Africa with six golds, a silver and a bronze medal.

Team South Africa won 11 medals in total at the championships, Kevin Paul’s silver and Charl Bouwer’s two silvers making up the tally.

The only other South African in action on Saturday was Tiaan du Plessis in the men’s 5km open water long haul (S8).

He ended 15th in 1:15.00. – Sapa

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Medal hat-trick for Du Toit

Eindhoven – Paralympic swim star Natalie du Toit grabbed South Africa’s second gold medal in as many days at the IPC World Swimming Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands on Monday.

In Sunday’s opening day, Du Toit took Team SA’s first gold when she won the 100m butterfly title (S9 category) in 1:08.30.

On Monday she went on to win the 200m Individual Medley final in 2:32.31.

But she wasn’t done with that achievement as she took a bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke final (SB8) when she clocked 1:25.95 for a national record in this event.

Her achievements mean she has now won all three of South Africa’s medals at the championships.

She was one of four South Africans involved in finals on Monday.

Best of the rest was Port Elizabeth’s Kevin Paul who took fourth in the 200m Individual Medley final (S10) with a 2:15.61 national record.

Other SA finalists were Renette Bloem (seventh in the 100m breaststroke S11 category, 1:39.57) and Hendri Herbst (eighth in the 100m breaststroke S12 category, 1:29.49).

Source: Sport24

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South African Short Course Championships: Natalie Du Toit Lowers Two More Paralympic World Record

PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa, August 7. TWO days, four World Records. There is no stopping Natalie Du Toit. On Friday 6 August, Natalie Du Toit, twice broke the World Record in the 100m Individual Medley at the Telkom SA Short Course Championships in Pietermartizburg. On Saturday 7 August she did it again. Natalie needed a mere 29.63sec for the 50m Freestyle in the SM 9 Category, breaking the previous record by 13/100′s of second. Annabelle Williams of Australia had swum 29.73sec in 2007. A couple of hours later and she was back in the pool, this time in the 50m Butterfly. Natalie’s 31.68sec beat the previous world record of 31.87sec set by Stephanie Milward in 2008.

Earlier in the day in the morning heats Darian Townsend posted World Short Course Championship qualifying time of 54.89sec in the 100m Individual Medley heats.
Leonie Vorster upset the applecart in the 100m backstroke pipping pre-race favorite Chanelle van Wyk by the smallest of fractions. Vorster took the lead in the last 15m to win in 1:00.63 to Van Wyk’s 1:00.82.

Gerhard Zandberg once again set a qualifying standard for the FINA World Short Course Championships in Dubai in the 100m Backstroke. Zandberg moved away from George Du Rand at the 75m mark and touched the wall in 52.46sec ahead of Du Rand’s 53.56 sec – the qualification time was 53.43sec.

Roland Schoeman was pushed hard in the 50m Butterfly final by 21 year-old Graeme Moore. Schoeman’s start and turn were impeccable as always, but Moore was not going to let him go, and with 15m to go was slightly ahead of Schoeman. But the former World Record Holder was not going to let his title go and forged ahead in the final 5m to win in 23.46sec with Moore touching in 23.53sec; both posting a World Short Course Championship qualifying time.

Moore then turned the tables on Schoeman in the second Semi-Final of the men’s 100m Freestyle. In the first semi-final Lyndon Ferns clocked 48.88sec. Moore though stormed through the second semi-final in 47.93sec, Neil Watson finishing second (49.53sec) and Schoeman 3rd (49.54sec).

Cameron van der Burgh showed just why he is the country’s best swimmer in the 100m Breaststroke. Van der Burgh ripped through the pool to touch in 58.99sec, well inside the required 1:00.15 needed to qualify for the World Short Course Championships.

Wendy Trott comfortably booked her place on the team when she cruised to a win in the 800m Freestyle with a time of 8:23.29. The time set by Swim SA was 8:35.34.

Heerden Herman – who will be off to New Delhi for the Commonwealth Games in October – made sure of his victory with a time of 8:01.24 in the men’s 800m freestyle final.

Graeme Moore won the first of the 100m Individual Medley semi-finals in 54.81sec with Gerhard Zandberg second in 54.90sec – both under the required 55.06sec set by Swim SA as a qualification time. In the second semi-final Darian Townsend confirmed his good performance of the morning heats by winning the second semi-final in 54.93sec

Source: Swimming South Africa

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South African Short Course Championships: Chad Le Clos Doubles, Natalie Du Toit Lowers Paralympic World Record

PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa, August 6. DAY one of the Telkom SA Short Course Championships set the scene for the remainder of the competition, as 8 swimmers set qualifying times for the World Short Course Championships, Natalie Du Toit breaks the 6 year-old World Record in the 100m individual medley in the SM 9 Category and Chad le Clos wins two gold medals.

First to book her ticket to the World Short Course Championships in Dubai in December was Mandy Loots with a dominant performance in the 200m Butterfly, quite comfortably winning in 2:10.03 – the qualification time was 2:10.82.

Chanelle van Wyk continues her return to form after a shoulder injury in 2009 which almost caused her to retire from the sport. Van Wyk is on the comeback trail as she posted a fast 59.89sec in the heats of the 100m Backstroke – the only swimmer to dip under the 1min mark and in so doing gave notice of her intentions of making the trip to Dubai.

Natalie Du Toit showed just why she is so highly in demand in the swimming world. Du Toit, who has just come back from the FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships, had no problems in adapting to the pool and the shorter version at that. Du Toit won her 100m individual medley heat in the SM9 category in 1:11.74 shattering the previous World Record held by Claire Cashmere of the UK by over 5 seconds. Cashmere set the previous record in 2004 at 1:16.98. She then went on to break her own record in the final, touching the wall in 1:11.06.

If the morning session was dramatic then so was the evening session. Showing his incredible talent, 18 year-old Chad le Clos won the 200m Freestyle ahead of his more fancied opponent, Darian Townsend. Le Clos made his move in the final 50m and touched the wall in 1:47.89 with Townsend clocking 1:49.10 and Leith Shankland rounding out the podium – 1:49.40.

Le Clos also had an emphatic victory in the 400m individual medley to clinch his second Gold of the day, this time though he made sure he was on the plane to Dubai. Le Clos was 10 seconds faster than Riaan Schoeman and 7 seconds inside the required time set by Swimming SA.

It was only the semi-finals, but neither Gerhard Zandberg, nor George Du Rand were leaving anything to chance as both dipped under the required 53.43sec needed to qualify for the World Short Course Championships. Zandberg touching the wall in 52.51sec and Du Rand in 53.13sec.

William Diering caused a bit of an upset in the men’s 200m Breaststroke as he beat favorite, Neil Versfeld. Diering had been focusing on his studies for the last 15 months or so and has been back in serious training for 3 months now and the results are showing. Diering won in 2:09.94 – edging Versfeld to 2:10.41. Both qualifying for the World Short Course Championships under the required 2:10.62.

In the 400m individual medley, both Jessica Pengelly and Kathryn Meaklim set qualifying times for Dubai by clocking 4:38.70 and 4:40.36 respectively.

The Telkom SA Short Course Championships continues tomorrow with the heats at 09h30 and finals starting at 17h00 in Pietermaritzburg’s GC Jolliffe Swimming Pool.

Source: Swimming South Africa

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