Natalie du Toit claimed the 11th gold medal of her glittering Paralympic career when she won the 100m Butterfly – S9 title for the third successive Games on memorable opening day at the Aquatics Centre.
London 2012 will mark the final chapter for Du Toit, who will bow out of competition after the Paralympics.
The South African had won 10 titles over two Games before competition started in London, with retirement looming for the 28-year-old.
Although her victory tonight in 1:09.30 was not as dominant as has previously been the case, it still took a European record by Spain’s Sarai Gascon to get within 0.49 seconds of her.
After the race, Du Toit said: ‘I think I am just relieved really. I am not really happy with the time but it’s great to have that one over.
‘It’s the last time I’ll swim the 100m Butterfly, so that’s the third race and three golds.
‘Tomorrow’s the 100m Backstroke, which I think is more of a challenge. I have to concentrate on that one now.’
On retiring, Du Toit added: ‘I decided as a little girl that 28 would be old enough and young enough to still know that I’ve achieved everything possible. But I could also go out there and study, and achieve different things.