What a day (15 September) for South Africa at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games with four more medals added to the team’s double digit tally.

During the morning session, Ernst van Dyk powered to gold in the men’s road race clocking 1 hour 37 minutes 49 seconds. An excellent result at his seventh Games.

“No better way to end my hand cycling career than at the Paralympics. My last gold was in Beijing and it’s been a crazy eight years. So happy that it all worked out and now I’m looking forward to the marathons,” van Dyk is quoted as saying.

On the field, reigning world javelin F38 champion, Reinhardt Hamman followed suit and, leading from the start, heaved an incredible 50.96 meters, a new personal best and African record, on his last attempt for gold.

“I seem to be setting a bit of a trend now, keeping my best for last. That throw is going to be hard to beat but one thing I know is that World Champs next year are going to be a blast,” Hammand told Road to Rio’s Mark Etheridge.

The evening session produced two more for South Africa.

Jonathan Ntutu bagged silver in the 100m T12 with a season’s best of 11.09 behind Cuba’s Leinier Savon Pineda (10.97s). Ntutu said after the race that although he had a bad start, he is happy with the podium and being able to put the London 2012 mishap behind him where he was disqualified for a false start.

Also on the field, Chenelle van Zyl from Johannesburg placed fourth in the shot put F35 with a best heave of 8.49 meters.

Stellenbosch’ Dyan Buis, who narrowly missed out on a podium in the 100 on Tuesday, had to fight hard in a close T38 long jump competition. Missing the silver spot, which went to China’s Huanghao Zhong (6.59m), by only one centimeter, Buis soared to a new African record of 6.58 meters. Gold went to Jianwen Hu (CHN) who also set a new Paralympic record with his of 6.64 meter leap.

In further track action on the night, fourteen year old ‘Jumping Kid’ Ntando Mahlangu ran a new African record time of 12.57 seconds for fifth spot in an exciting 100 meter T42 final that saw Australia’s Scott Reardon grab gold (12.26s PR). Shared silver went to Britain’s Richard Whitehead and Denmark’s David Wagner, both running a 12.32 for second spot on the podium.

Although Bloemfontein athletes, Louzanne Coetzee and guide Khothatso Mokone seemed to produce a solid run in the 1500 meter T11 heat, the duo was disqualified for contravening the Paralympic rule that states, ‘guide runner must not push, pull or propel athlete’.

South Africa is now placed 20th on the medals table with more action scheduled for today. In athletics, 400 meter silver medalist, Anrune Liebenberg is competing in the 200 final, while golden boy in the 100, Charl du Toit will be going for the double in the 400 meter T37 race.

Day nine also features Ilse Carstens (nee Hayes) in the 400 T13, and both Hilton Langenhoven and Jonathan Ntutu in the 200 T12 heat rounds.

Written by: Liezel van Rensburg / Photo credit: Martin Potgieter