On the first day of competition at the Nedback National Championships in Johannesburg, Charl du Toit and Fanie van der Merwe set A Qualifying Times in the men’s T37 200 meter event. du Toit had a personal best time of 23.52 seconds in his gold medal run, while van der Merwe ran a time of 23.58 for silver. Ruhan van Rooyen won bronze in the event with a time of 25.85 seconds, and met the Paralympic B Qualifying Standard.
Charl du Toit is an experienced South African national team member. He was part of the South African team at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where he picked up a silver medal in the men’s T37 100 meter event, finishing behind teammate Fanie van der Merwe. He was also part of the South African squad at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, winning silver in the men’s T35 – T38 4 x 100 meter rela, where he teamed with van der Merwe, Union Sekailwe and Dyan Buis. Competing individually at those same championships, he won bronze in the men’s T37 400 meter event. du Toit was also part of the Paralympic team in London. In the men’s T37 100 meter event, he failed to make it out of his heat while posting a time of 12.11 seconds.Teammate van der Merwe went on to win gold in that event in a world record time of 11.51. In London in the men’s 800 meter event, he finished 6th in a time of 2:06.67.
Fanie van der Merwe has an impressive resume on the international level. He is a triple Paralympic gold medalist, winning gold in the men’s T37 100 meter event in Beijing and then successfully defended his title in London. He also won gold in the 200 meters in Beijing. He won a pair of silver medals at the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in the 200 meters and in a relay. He won 2 silver medals at the 2011 World Championships, in the 100 meter and 200 meter events. He also won bronze in the 400 meters.
At last year’s Nedbank National Championships, Ruhan van Rooyen won gold in the T37 100 meter event. His goal coming into the season has been to compete at the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, and qualify for the 2016 Summer Paralympics. He missed out on the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships despite having the times for it because he was classified a junior competitor and then missed out on selection for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He ended 2014 ranked fourth nationally in the 100 meters and 200 meters.