LONDON – Natalie du Toit’s pioneering swimming career came to an end with a silver in the S9 100 metres freestyle in London this evening.
Ellie Cole of Australia won the gold in one minute 02.77 seconds, an Oceania record, 0.68secs ahead of South African Du Toit, 28, who brought the curtain down on her career with 13 Paralympic titles over three Games having also appeared in non-disabled events at both the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
Britain’s Louise Watkin finished fifth in 1min 4.45secs, while Lauren Steadman was eighth.
Du Toit said: “It’s all over.
I went out there and tried my best. I now walk away from the sport. To get second is a little disappointing.
“Two months ago I wasn’t going to come (to the Paralympics). It’s been a tough couple of months. I look back and realise I gave everything in the pool and gave everything as a person, it’s time to move on. I’ve no idea what’s next.”
Cole added: “I actually feel really bad about beating Natalie. I know I should feel really stoked, but it was her last race and I did want her to do really well.”
Du Toit’s left leg was amputated at the knee after being hit by a car in 2001.