Fanie dives to win the 100m

Fanie van der Merwe (R) of South Africa celebrates next to second place Sofiane Hamdi (L) of Algeria after winning the final of the men's 200 metre T37 classification event at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Athlete Fanie van der Merwe won a gold medal in the men's 100m T37 final at the London Paralympic Games on Saturday, claiming a  new world record of 11.51 seconds.

China’s Yongbin Liang followed a few split seconds behind, while Russia’s Roman Kapranov came in third at 11:57 seconds.

It was a dramatic end for Van der Merwe, who literally dived over the finish line to win the race.

The sprinter, who was born with cerebral palsy, broke back-to-back world records after finishing first in the heats.

He won a gold medal in the same event at the Beijing Games in 2008.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Anrune Liebenberg won silver in the T46 class 400 metres race.

While in the pool, Kevin Paul won silver in the 100 metres breaststroke SB 9.

The law student set a new African record at 1:05.70.

Saturday’s events at the Paralympics put South Africa in 17th position overall on the medals table, with 8 gold, 12 silver and 9 bronze. 

(Edited by Thato Motaung)