South Africa will have their first medal chance late on day one of the Rio Paralympics, with swimmer Kevin Paul lining up among the favourites for gold in the men’s 100m breaststroke S9 final on Thursday evening.
It was a topsy-turvy start for Team SA in the early session on the opening day of competition at the multi-sport Games, with two athletes progressing and two facing elimination in the early session.
World champion Paul, aiming for his third successive Paralympic podium, touched the wall in 1:06.19 to progress as the fastest qualifier for the final, to be held later in the evening session.
Elsewhere in the pool, Alani Ferreira finished sixth in her 100m butterfly S13 heat in 1:24.23, and she was unable to secure a place in the medal contest.
Meanwhile, on the track, former Paralympic 200m champion Hilton Langenhoven coasted through the opening round of the men’s T12 400m sprint, winning his heat to reach the semifinals.
Track cyclist Roxy Burns, competing in the C3 class, was knocked out of the women’s 3 000m individual pursuit by finishing 11th in the qualifying round in 4:43.478. Burns was set to compete in the first round of her favoured 500m event over the weekend.