Oscar Pistorius and his Paralympic Village roommate Arnu Fourie brought the house down with world record 200-metre sprint performances in London on Saturday night.
Fourie ran a T44 world record of 22.57sec in his heat and then Bladerunner Pistorius blitzed to a 21.30sec win in the next heat. They race in tonight’s final at 9.15pm UK time.
But that wasn’t all their teammates also came to the Paralympic party, bringing home six more medals and boosting Team SA’s tally to eight after three nights of competition.
Earlier in the evening it was Cape Town’s Achmat Hassiem who got the medal rush off to a start with bronze in the S10 100m butterfly event in the pool.
Then sprinter Jonathan Ntutu won bronze as well as he tied for third in the 100m T13 final.
Charl Bouwer celebrates his win in the pool
The big medal of the day came at the Aquatics Centre where Beijing gold medallist Charl Bouwer won the men’s 50m freestyle dash in 1:23.99. “Winning a gold medal in this event is unbelievable because it’s not my main event [he won gold in Beijing in the 400m freestyle]. I had what we describe in Afrikaans as ‘hoendervleis’ [goosebumps] because I was only ranked fourth in this race. My mom and dad watched from the stands. They came all the way over from South Africa.
Today Bouwer booked his place in tonight’s 100m freestyle final at 6.30pm. “My main event is the 100m freestyle and I’m ranked second there and want to make my country proud. I won’t let this win go to my head as I have other races to prepare for but I’m very happy,” he said.
Teboho Mokgalagadi, silver medal, 100m T35. Picture by WESSEL OOSTHUIZEN / SASPA
And back on the track Teboho Mokgalagadi took silver in the men’s T35 100m final followed shortly afterwards by Dyan Buis also with silver in the T38 100m final (11.11). “I came on fast at the end. I just tried to move my hands as fast as I could and hoped the legs would correspond! I want to celebrate but I’ve also got the 200m on 5 September so have to try and relax until then,” said Mokgalagadi.”
The final medal for Team South Africa came in the evening’s final track event as Anruné Liebenberg blitzed to the bronze medal with a time of 25.55sec in the T46 200m final.
Speaking after his heat Pistorius was springing about on his blades. “I didn’t expect a time like this tonight! A lot of people wondered if I would managed to peak for the Olympics and the Paralympics but I think I answered that out on the track tonight.”
“I’m so happy to be back here This crowd is as awesome as they were a couple of weeks ago. To be out here representing our country in such an amazing stadium is so amazing,” he said.
On Thursday night Natalie du Toit won South Africa’s first gold in the 100m butterfly (S9) and the next night it was Hendri Herbst who took bronze in the 100m freestyle (S11).
SA is now 18th on the medals table with eight medals.