Charl, Fanie and Ilse boost Team SA’s medal count to five #rio2016

Charl du Toit and Fanie van der Merwe banked Team South Africa’s third and fourth medals of the Paralympic Games in Rio on Sunday as they ran to first and third place respectively in the T37 100-metre track final.

And 10 minutes after their gold-bronze sprint final it was Stellenbosch training partner Ilse Hayes who scorched to silver in the women’s T13 100m final to make it five for SA in this Games campaign.

The extra trio of medals bumped Team SA up to 16th on the medals table.

Du Toit, who broke the world record in the semi-finals with a barnstorming 11.42sec, came from behind in front of a crowd of 30,000, to take gold from Egypt’s Mostafa Mohamed in 11.45sec. He kept his cool to run a beautifully controlled race, overtaking his continental counterpart with around 25m to run and showing the world his customary smile.

‘I didn’t get the best of starts, the Egyptian guy was flying – hats off to him.

‘But I kept my control and at about 70m I knew I was in the mix. I had to really work for this one.’

Explaining the smile he said: ‘I just really enjoy athletics and just love doing this. the big smile was for my late uncle [killed in a home robbery recently], my training group, coach Suzanne Ferreira, my conditioning coach Sean Surmon and I also had my parents here which was amazing.’