South Africa’s Du Toit Named Outstanding Competitor of Commonwealth Games

GLASGOW, Scotland, October 3. SOUTH African swimming star Natalie du Toit flew to Scotland on Wednesday night, having arrived in Nigeria with the South African team only a few days ago.

Du Toit will compete in the 800m and 1 500m freestyle events at the All Africa Games in Nigeria next week. But first she had to jet off to Glasgow for a few days to receive a special award from the Commonwealth Games Association.

The 19-year-old was named as the most outstanding competitor at the 2002's Commonwealth Games in Manchester after winning two gold medals in disabled events in world record time and then reaching the final of the able-bodied 800m freestyle.

She will fly back to Abuja after the ceremony to rejoin the South African team and will compete the day after her arrival.

"I'm not too worried about it," she said practically stepping off the plane and into the pool.

"I've travelled quite a lot and so I get used to sleeping on the plane and also it's easier travelling back here to Nigeria than South Africa," she added.

Du Toit, who claimed two silver medals at the last All Africa Games in Johannesburg, in the 400m individual medley and the 200m butterfly, said she was looking forward to the competition and that she was especially impressed with the newly-built swimming pool.

The swimming will run from October 5 to 11 and despite the absence of the likes of Terence Parkin and Mandy Loots, the South Africa team are still confident of continuing their dominance in the pool. They will be looking to the younger stars such as Du Toit, 15-year-old Lauren Roets and 16-year-old Lize-Mari Retief to keep the Sout Africa flag flying.

— The Natal Mercury

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