Day three was not too kind to Team South Africa at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games. South Africa had representation in four finals, but the medal drought remains.
Swimmer Christian Sadie who set a South African and African record when he qualified sixth fastest in the SM 7 individual medley this morning, was unable to convert that into a medal in his final. Swimming in his maiden Paralympic Games, the youngster finished 6th in the final in a time of 2 minutes 35,94 seconds. But he will be more than happy with that performance, as he set another African record in the process. The final was won by Israeli Mark Malyar, who smashed the world record – clocking 2 minutes 29,01 seconds.
On the track, Sheryl James who earlier in the morning produced the race of her life to finish second in her T37 200 metres heat also failed to get onto the podium. But she produced South Africa’s best performance of the games so far, again bettering the African record and finishing fourth in 27,57 seconds. It was just two-tenths of a second outside of the medals. The race won by Chinese athlete Xiaoyan Wen in a new world record time of 26,58 seconds.
2016 Rio Games gold medalist in the men’s T37 100 metres, Charl Du Toit, was also left wondering what could have been, in his finals. Du Toit finished in 11,63, faster than his heat earlier in the day, but the race was dominated by American Nick Mayhugh. Mayhugh who became the first T37 sprinter in history to dip under 11 seconds with a scorching 10,97 seconds in the heats this morning, bettered that time in the final to set another new benchmark in the event.
The Hunt for Team South Africa’s first medal from Tokyo 2020 Paralympics continues.