Kerwin Noemdo was the best of the South Africans in action on Wednesday, narrowly missing out on a medal in the men’s T46 shot put final at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Noemdo finished fourth with a 15.65m heave, breaking the African record and falling 25 centimetres short of a place on the podium.
After missing the 2016 Rio Games, as the shot put event in his class was not included on the programme, the 26-year-old athlete was satisfied with his performance on his Paralympic debut.
“It’s my first Games, so I can’t be too upset with fourth, but it’s back to the drawing board,” said Noemdo, whose right arm was amputated below the elbow as a child.
“Hopefully in three years time (at the 2024 Paris Games) I can get on the podium.”
A number of the SA team’s medal contenders also missed out on a tough day for the national squad.
In the men’s T37 400m final, defending champion Charl du Toit settled for fifth place in 51.14 seconds.
Long jumper Mpumelelo Mhlongo also ended fifth in the men’s T64 final with a 6.80m leap, while Dyan Buis settled for 10th position in the T38 long jump (5.94m).
Elsewhere, in the swimming pool, Christian Sadie grabbed fifth spot in the men’s SB7 100m breaststroke final, touching the wall in 1:24.49.
Alani Ferreira was 12th overall in the women’s SB13 100m breaststroke heats in 1:25.01 and she did not progress to the final.
In road cycling, time trial gold medallist Pieter du Preez ended eighth in the men’s H1-2 road race, and fellow veteran Ernst van Dyk also finished eighth in the H5 road race.
After eight days of competition the SA team were lying 32nd in the overall standings with five medals (three gold, one silver and one bronze).