Maties Parasport athletes returned form the recent South African national championships for persons with disabilities with several national records and qualifying times for the 2017 World ParaAthletics Championships.
The national event took place in Port Elizabeth.
For two of the athletes – Arnu Fourie and Ilse Hayes – it was their last national event.
Both won their races and qualified for the world championships taking place in London from 14 to 23 July.
Fourie won the 100m and 200m (T44) in 11:37 and 23:30 seconds respectively.
Hayes (T13) also won her sprint numbers, but more important than the victories was her progress after an Achilles injury.
"It was a race against time to get Ilse ready for the event," her coach Dr Suzanne Ferreira said.
"The 100m was her first full 100m from the blocks and we did not really know what to expect. Our biggest hope was that her Achilles would survive the maximum impact. Although her times were far from her personal best, she showed that we can now proceed to the next phase.
Paralympic veterans Dyan Buis (T38) and Anruné Liebenberg (T44) both won gold in their events and achieved world qualifying times.
The field athletes' coach Karen le Roux was also very happy with her athletes' performances. Veteran Zanele Situ (F54) qualified for the World Championships in three events.
"Reinhardt Hamman (F38) came very close to his personal best in the javelin just a few months after a major knee operation," said Le Roux. He achieved qualifying distances in javelin and shot put.
Also in shot put, Jean Joubert (F44) set a new SA record in his class while Kerwin Noemdo (F46) achieved a new personal best and improved on his previous SA record. Both distances were qualifying distances for the world championships.
Lean Simon (F44) stood out in the javelin and discus while wheelchair athlete Brandon Beack (F53) performed well in the 100m and shot put.
Keenan Cloete (T46), Thabo Dube (F57), Bilaal Dramat (F43) and the young Paul Daniels (F43) achieved SA rekords in long jump, discus and the 100m respectively.
Photo: Kerwin Noemdo
Photographer: Martin Potgieter, Bonzai Photography