Cape Town - South Africa wrapped up their 2017 IPC Athletics World Championships on a high, with two gold medals and a silver in Sunday’s last day of competition.
Charl du Toit raced to his second gold medal of the championships, while training partner Anruné Liebenberg secured her second silver medal of the championships, both in the 400m T37 and T47 track events, respectively.
And infield, it was Manie Blom who threw his way to gold in the F12 discus event.
Du Toit ran an African record of 51 seconds on the dot, while Liebenberg ran 58.09 for her silver medal.
A double Rio Paralympics gold medallist, Du Toit won by a country mile as he ended 2.68 clear of silver medallist Sofiane Hamdi. He was just 0.01 outside the IPC World championship record set by Russian Andrei Vdovin in Doha two years ago.
Stellenbosch-based Liebenberg, who won 200m silver earlier in the competition, ran 58.09 for her second silver, as China’s Lu Li won in a personal best 57.23.
Visually impaired Blom had got South Africa’s final day of competition off to a rip-roaring start with a championship record throw of 51.16m with his fifth throw as he responded to being overtaken by Iran’s Saman Pakbaz.
The Iranian threw a 48.86m to take the lead, before Pretoria’s Blom came up with his golden effort.
Blom told Team SA: ‘I came into the comp in good shape and was aiming for top three... and ultimately the win.
‘I have a very average opening throw and was in third after the first round. Then after three rounds I was first with 48.7. then we had a change of throwing order because I was leading.
‘So because I was in the lead I was last to go. The top four at that stage all had no-throws. Then in that fifth round Saman threw a lifetime PB of 48.8 to take the lead. I heard it was a big throw and asked what the distance was. I replied then with a 51.16 which ended up the winner.
‘I’m so grateful and blessed that God gave me the talent and opportunity to compete. I have to thank so many people who made it possible. I had a huge support team and sponsors Dotcloud Capital Vapes and many other people made donations. Thank you so much and ultimately God for the strength and guidance.’
The only other South African in action on Sunday was also in field action as Kerwin Noemdo ended ninth with a throw of 39.53m in the F46 discus. The winner was China’s Zhanbiao Hou with a 48.42m heave.
A great day saw South Africa climbing to 10th spot on the medals table with 15 medals - five gold, eight silvers and two bronzes.
Topping the table was China with 65 in total, ahead of the United States (59) and host nation Great Britain (39).
Two years ago at the last IPC World Championships in Doha, Qatar, South Africa won two more medals, but were placed three spots lower.