Evergreen Ntutu defends Commonwealth title with stunning gold: 'I'm so proud of myself'

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Star South African para-sprinter Ndodomzi 'Jonathan' Ntutu dismissed any retirement talk after soaring to gold in the men's T11/T12 100m final in Birmingham on Thursday.

Ntutu, a visually impaired athlete, successfully defended his Commonwealth Games title at Alexander Stadium as he recorded his second-best Games time.

Running in lane 3, Ntutu did not disappoint as he powered through the four-athlete final, stopping the clock in 10.83.

Ntutu still holds the Games record at 10.80 - a feat he achieved at the 2018 Gold Coast Games.

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Englishman Achary Shaw took silver in 10.90 and Namibia's Ananias Shikongo rounded off the podium with a time of 10.95.

"The start was one of the crucial parts, especially the transition. But somewhere mid-race, I had a speed wobble, I almost got tight," admitted Ntutu.

"But I held it together well and today we're standing with a 10.83, which is my second fastest time. I'm so proud of myself."

Ntutu, who resides in Bellville, was determined more than ever to make the podium after missing out on the Tokyo Paralympics 100m final last year.

In Birmingham, Ntutu's smile got even brighter as he leapt up the podium to receive his gold and remained South Africa's fastest ever para-athlete.

"This year has been a tough year for me. I have two kids and my wife to look out for, so at the same time, I had to listen to what coaches tell me on what needs to be done," said Ntutu.

"The training regiment has been quite tough, I had to believe and trust in my coach and trust in God that things will get better soon. And I'm standing here in front... it's just a proud moment for me."

Despite being 36 years old, Ntutu is not thinking of hanging up his boots just yet as he says he is feeling as good as ever.

"If I kept it well together, I probably would've gotten my Games record, which is 10.80. I'm very pleased," said Ntutu.

"No, we don't talk about retirement. That'll be for years to come. But we'll take it year by year and see how things go. I have to listen to my body at the end of the day."

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