RIO DE JANEIRO – South Africa woke up to anything but a blue Monday as Team South Africa celebrated six of the best medals in Rio de Janeiro yesterday.

After a super productive afternoon on the track where first Charl du Toit and Fanie van der Merwe won gold and bronze in the T37 100m final and Ilse Hayes then sealed silver in the T13 100m, it was up to teenager Ntando Mahlangu to come to the party.

The Mpumalanga athlete, who is only 14, motored to a time of 23.77 sec, only being beaten by British Paralympic sensation Richard Whitehead (23.39).

“It still hadn’t quite sunk in as to what he’d done on the biggest stage of all. Wow, it’s a very great feeling and I just want to thank SA for allowing me to have this opportunity. Thanks to all the people back home who helped me get here.

“As for the final, everyone is just running his best hey, I’m happy with my result, I ran a personal best so really can’t expect much more.”

Sixteenth on the medals table after Du Toit’s gold, Van der Merwe’s bronze and Hayes’ silver, Team SA consolidated that spot with Mahlangu’s medal.

On to today’s action and in the pool, Alani Ferreira continues her Paralympic debut, London bronze medallist Hendri Herbst is in action, as is fellow 2012 bronze medallist Achmat Hassiem and Emily Gray is the fourth swimmer in what she has hinted will be her last Paralympics.

Athletics heat activity sees Liezel Gouws in her favourite event, the T37 400m, while Dyan Buis is in T38 action, the event where he won silver four years ago. Two finals have SA participation, Arnu Fourie in the 200m T43/T44 class while big Tyrone Pillay is in the F42 shot put.

Said Pillay: “So it’s finally ‘go-time’. I can’t wait to go out there and give of my best. Send all the good vibes and energy… proudly South African.

And then there’s tennis where Lucas Sithole teams up with Aussie Dylan Alcott in the Quad Singles mixed semi-final.

– African News Agency

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