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Du Toit continues her swimming legend in All-African Games
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15:17, July 18, 2007

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Natalie Du Toit from South Africa, the sole disabled swimmer participating in the able-bodied's competition of the All-African Games, continued her swimming legend in the continental sports gathering on Tuesday.

After bagging a gold in the women's 4x200m freestyle last Thursday, Du Toit claimed an individual gold on Tuesday in 1,500m freestyle, a fairly long march among the women's swimming events. The 22-year-old lady proved she is still a shining legend in the swimming history of Africa and the world at large.

For Du Toit, Tuesday's competition is not as tough as those in Paralympic Games. She maintained her leading from the beginning to the end and left the silver winner Maroua Mathlouthi from Tunisia 13.78 seconds behind.

Du Toit's time was 17 minutes 9.05 seconds, a new record of the All-Africa Games.

The victory not only cheered up the South African team, but also moved spectators from various African countries.

The crowd greeted her with loud applauses for three times, watching with admiration the strong-minded lady jumping to the place where her clothes and towels were laid with just one leg.

"I miscounted during the competition, but fortunately the referee showed me the left rounds in time," Du Toit told Xinhua with a warm smile. She was confident to win medals in next year's Beijing Paralympic Games.

Karoly von Toros, coach of the South African swimming team, said Du Toit was even moving closer to be qualified for the able-bodied Olympic Games.

Du Toit has made sports history by qualifying for the 800 meters able-bodied freestyle final at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. It was the first time an athlete with a disability had qualified for the final of an able-bodied event.

The young lady won five gold medals and one silver medal in Athens, and also bagged six gold medals at the International Paralympic Committee's World Swimming Championships held in Durban last year.

"Now Beijing Olympic Games is my dream," said Du Toit.

Source: Xinhua



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