‘I have tears of joy, tears of excitement’ – Charl du Toit picks perfect time to retire

Double Olympic and world champion Charl du Toit has called time on his running career after bagging a silver medal at Birmingham 2022.
One of the biggest conundrums for any athlete is knowing when to say: “It’s time.” Many stay on too long, wanting to keep Father Time at arm’s length once he’s touched them on the shoulder. Many spoil their legacy by not quitting at the right time.
Charl du Toit has timed his retirement to perfection.
One of para athletics’ bright lights, the 100m and 400m gold medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics and gold medallist in the 200m and 400m at the 2017 Para World Championships, woke up today as a retired athlete.
He put the final stop to a glittering career with a silver medal in the T37/T38 100m at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, stopping the clock in 11.54sec. At the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021, he clocked 11.63 in the event and in winning gold in Rio six years ago it was 11.45. No one can dare suggest he left it too late.
At the age of 29, and picking up silver in a race where a higher classification (T38) athlete in Australia’s Evan O’Hanlon won gold, Du Toit has picked the perfect moment to retire.
See more of Daily Maverick’s Commonwealth Games coverage:
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“Tatjana and Kaylene – ‘It’s nice to cry on the podium, rather than next to the pool’”
“Powell’s era of brilliance is almost over, but the Blitzboks are far from finished”
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“This was definitely my last race. I have tears of joy, tears of excitement,” Du Toit said.
“This was a special race, and having my coach, my fiancée and my brother and his wife here was special. I’m not finished with athletics itself, it’s in my blood and I will still be involved somewhere. But for the racing side of it I am so privileged.”
He goes out on his shield on a high, and in front of a crowd – which wasn’t the case at a Covid-19-restricted Tokyo – and most importantly, in front of his family and fiancée, who had travelled overseas for the first time. And, importantly for Du Toit, ...