Natalie du Toit was a success at the recent Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne, Australia, when she smashed the amputee world record in the 50 metres freestyle twice in a day!
First she broke her own record with a new best of 29.32 seconds in the morning semi-final. Then in the night final she again smashed it again with a winning 29.27.
Natalie also carried the South African flag into the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the Opening Ceremony. However, what is unfortunate is that Natalie was the only disabled swimmer that participated at the Games.
Kevin Paul, the young swimmer from Port Elizabeth featured in the last issue of Rolling Inspiration, was deemed "not disabled enough" to compete in the Games. Despite receiving his accreditation in Denmark, he was classified as "not disabled enough" to compete in a disability event.
Disabled Sport SA general manager Alison Burchell explained that each disabled swimmer competing in the Commonwealth Games needed to swim at an international event, where he would be classified according to his ability.
Classification, done by an accredited international Paralympics official, is based on adult performance. Swimmers younger than 17 may be classified again at adulthood.
Burchell said: "We’re keeping a close eye on Kevin. As he grows, there’s a possibility that his disability may become more pronounced, and he may be classified as eligible to swim. It’s a very unfortunate situation."