Gauteng dominated the overall medal table at the Nedbank National Championships for the Physically Disabled in Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape.

Gauteng secured 157 gold, 89 silver and 37 bronze medals for a total of 283 medals.

Western Province came in second place with 131 medals, including 91 gold while the North West took third position with 72 medals, including 41 gold. In all, over 60 South African and nine African records were broken, at the 23rd staging of the National Championships.

Gauteng was dominant in eight sporting events, across numerous disciplines. Emily Gray, a swimmer and the star of the team, collected eight medals. Gray won seven gold medals and a silver medal in a wide range of women's S10 multi-disability events, ranging from the 50m butterfly to the 1500m freestyle.

Gray topped Western Province, swimmer, Achmat Hassiem, who won seven gold medals in the men's S10 category, as the National Championships’ leading individual, while there were numerous other top performances.

Sprinters, Dyan Buis and Ilse Hayes, put up world leading times, in their respective events and are looking to be the two brightest stars in South African disabled athletics. Buis broke the SA T38 400m record on Wednesday, clocking a time of 51.36 to shave 0.23 seconds off his own national record in cool, damp conditions, on the final day of the meeting.

 It was Buis’ second gold medal of the National Championships, following his victory in the 100m event which has set him up well for the remainder of the season. Buis, a 2012 Paralympic, silver medalist, in the T38 100m won the 100m final, comfortably, in a time of 11.63. “I’m very happy because I was focusing on a lot of technical aspects, I have been working on before the Championships. My start was good and my drive in the transition period of the race was also good. The conditions were a bit cold but there was no wind or any other issues.” Buis said, after the 100m event. 

Hayes created a buzz in the T13 100m event on day two, when she clocked an SA record 12.31, which is only 0.3 seconds, shy of the world record. This achievement was an addition to her superb, 200m run, in which she recorded a time of 26.37. At this early stage, she is already be a gold medalist hopeful, at next year’s World Championships in Doha. Hayes won the F13 long jump gold medal, in London in 2012 and could become one of the darlings of the sport in coming years – the Paralympic equivalent of Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

 The T37 400m event runner, Charl du Toit, was also impressive winning in a time of 53.26, while veteran, Hilton Langenhoven, won the T12 100m, 200m and long jump titles.

 Reigning, world F37/F38 javelin champion, Reinhardt Hamman, narrowly missed out on an African record in windy conditions while sprinters, Fanie van der Merwe, Jonathan Ntutu and Teboho Mokgalagadi, caught the eye in the men’s 100m and 200m.

Hamman threw 45.64m for a comfortable victory in the javelin and added the shot put title to his collection as well.

ri-dot