South African Natalie Du Toit and American Erin Popovich keep piling on the gold medals in swimming at the Beijing Paralympics. Du Toit, one of only two athletes who also competed in the Beijing Olympics, claimed her third gold medal of the games today, setting a world record for her disability class in the 200 metre individual medley. Du Toit swam 2 minutes, 27.83 seconds, breaking her old record by just over two seconds. "I think I went out there and just gave everything," said Du Toit, who has two races remaining. "By the end I had nothing."
Du Toit, who lost her leg in a 2001 motorcycle crash, finished 16th in the Beijing Olympics in the 10 kilometre open-water swim. Popovich, the American team captain, won her fourth Beijing Paralympic gold, taking the 400m freestyle. She also won gold in the 100m backstroke, 200m individual medley and 100m freestyle, and will try for two more gold medals this weekend. Popovich won seven gold in Athens, but will be limited to six this time after a relay was cut from the program.
She also won three more gold medals in the Sydney games eight years ago. "The Paralympics are for physically disabled people from all around the world," Popovich said. "Everyone is capable of doing something, whichever walk of life they come from." * AP