Another medal was added for Team South Africa on the track yesterday when reigning world champion and silver medalist in London 2012, Anrune Liebenberg crossed the finish line in 58.88 seconds to win another silver at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil. Looking strong down the 100 meter straight, Liebenberg seemed set for gold…
Another medal was added for Team South Africa on the track yesterday when reigning world champion and silver medalist in London 2012, Anrune Liebenberg crossed the finish line in 58.88 seconds to win another silver at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil.
Looking strong down the 100 meter straight, Liebenberg seemed set for gold but China’s Li Lu (58.09s RR) put up a fight, passing the 23 year old from Stellenbosch in the last meters to take the win. Bronze went to Sae Tsuji (1:00.62s) from Japan.
“From November last year to now has been a tough time for me. I had two operations on my right knee so, just being here in Rio representing my country is actually a miracle,” said an emotional Liebenberg after the race.
In further track action, London 2012 bronze medalist, Jonathan Ntutu went comfortably through to today’s 100m T12 final clocking a season’s best of 11.10 seconds in the heats. Also in the heat rounds, young Ntando Mahlangu ran another sensational race to progress to the 100 meter T42 final that is also scheduled for later today.
The teenager, who is stronger over the longer distances, at first looked like he might not qualify. Running at the back of the pack for most of the race, Mahlangu blasted past in the last few meters to grab third spot (12.70s) behind Australia’s Scott Reardon (12.26s PR) and 200 champion, Richard Whitehead (12.38s) to book his finals spot.
On the field, Johannesburg-based Zandile Nhlapo faced a strong field in the women’s F34 shot put. Her best on the day measured 5.63 meters placing her 8th at her second Paralympics.
With another medal in the bag, the athletics squad continues their campaign with a busy day eight (15 September) at the Games. Joining Mahlangu and Ntutu will be javelin F38 world champion Reinhardt Hamman, F35 shot-putter Chenelle van Zyl, and Dyan Buis in the long jump T38 event.
Liebenberg returns to the track in the 200m T47 heats, joined by 100m gold medalist, Charl du Toit (400m T37 heats), and Free State athlete, Louzanne Coetzee (1500m T11 heats) guided by Khothatso Mokone in her first Paralympic appearance.
Written by: Liezel van Rensburg / Photo credit: Wessel Oosthuizen