South Africa's Du Toit bows out with golden treble | other | Hindustan Times
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South Africa's Du Toit bows out with golden treble

other Updated: Oct 09, 2010 20:12 IST

South Africa's Natalie Du Toit on Saturday won the women's 100m butterfly S9 event, taking her tally to three golds in her last Commonwealth Games.

The 26-year-old never looked under threat in the two lap race and finished well ahead of the field in 1:07.32. England's Stephanie Millward won silver with Ellie Cole of Australia in bronze.

The win comes after world record holder Du Toit made the third successive defence of her 50m and 100m freestyle titles.

"This is my last Commonwealth Games, which is a little bit sad. But it's now time for Steph (Millward)," said an emotional Du Toit before the medal ceremony.

"I'll try and go to the Paralympic Games (in 2012) but after that I'll probably call it a day."

Du Toit, who lost her leg in a motorbike accident, is one of the world's most well-known para-athletes and has dominated disabled swimming at the last two Commonwealth Games and Paralympics.

She has held the 50m and 100m freestyle Commonwealth title for elite athletes with a disability since Manchester in 2002, has 11 Paralympic gold medals and competed against able-bodied athletes in the Beijing Olympics.

Asked about her career, Du Toit said: "I had already decided to retire when I was 28. I think I did well and I am happy with my achievements.

"I wanted to win three golds (in New Delhi). That was my third and it feels very special.

"The Commonwealth Games have always been a special event to me. Manchester was the first time time I experienced the amazing (athletes') village life," she added.

"In Melbourne was also great and now here we have a very young team, we have a small village. It's different and very special.

"What makes the difference every time is the people. From the volunteers, to the chef de mission to ministers. It's special to see how everyone operates and contributes. You learn to stand back and enjoy it."

Millward's silver comes after second place in the 100m freestyle and bronze in the 50m freestyle. Cole won bronze in the 100m free.

The 29-year-old was former British record holder at the 100m backstroke as an able-bodied teenager before she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

She won silver in the 50m freestyle in the Paralympics in Beijing.