Paralympic Games: Jonnie Peacock struts stuff to claim 100m gold
JONNIE Peacock defeated his hero Oscar Pistorius to write his own name in Paralympic legend last night.
Peacock’s victory in the T44 100m, perhaps the most eagerly anticipated race of the entire Games, will be one of the enduring images of London 2012.
Just minutes after wheelchair racer David Weir had won his third gold with a victory in the 800m, Peacock followed his lead in style.
The teenager from Cambridge sealed his status as the fastest amputee in the world and showed no regard for reputations as he raced away from the field to win in 10.90 seconds, a new Paralympic record.
The 19-year-old came into the Games as the T44 world record holder but inexperienced on the big stage, but proved he can more than handle the occasion.
Only American Richard Browne could get close to the Briton, claiming silver in 11.03sec.
Pistorius, the defending champion, was never in contention, finishing fourth behind fellow South African and room-mate Arnu Fourie, but was quick to embrace Peacock at the finish.
The young Briton said: “This is going to take a long time to sink in. I knew this was a slight possibility and as the year has progressed I’ve felt more confident.
“It’s totally surreal and I didn’t believe it until I saw the scoreboard. I’ve not been sleeping very well for the last few nights when I thought about what might happen.
“I knew this crowd was going to be intense. Dave Weir going minutes before – I knew he’d win, and I knew the crowd would be on a high.
“I didn’t think it was going to be that crazy, I was like, who’s going to get a bigger cheer, Oscar or me?”
Pistorius was quick to acknowledge Peacock’s feat, saying: “What we’ve seen here is the start of an amazing Paralympics sprinter, he’s going to be a household name now.
“I’ve just been watching it on the screen again and it was a great performance and while I’m disappointed I didn’t get on the podium it was great to be part of a race like that.
“I was hoping to finish in the medals but the 100 is not my thing. I’m looking forward to the 400m, I’m desperate for a medal.”
Earlier, Weir had continued his relentless pursuit of quadruple gold by making it three out of three with yet another
Weir has established himself as the hero of the Olympic Stadium in the same way Mo Farah did at the Olympics, with confident, stylish and tactically-superb racing.
The “Weirwolf” was at his imperious best as he devoured a world-class field to deafening roars from the capacity crowd, adding the 800m crown to his 1500m and 5,000m titles.
The 33-year-olddefending champion, tracked China’s Zhang Lixin for the first lap before attacking with 250m to go.
Urged on by the whole stadium, he raced past Zhang to win in one minute 37.63 seconds.
Weir has the marathon still to come on Sunday and organisers expect London’s streets to be packed for what could be a famous denouement to this month to remember.
“The marathon is going to be tough, you can’t train for these emotions,” said Weir. “I’ve done the mileage but I don’t know what the last few days will have taken out of me mentally.
“I’ve got two days rest but it’s 26.2 miles, not just a few laps of the track. Lots of the marathon guys are going to be fresh, ready and very fast. However, whatever happens I’ll give it my best shot.”
“Hurricane” Hannah Cockroft, meanwhile, blew away her competition in the 200m T34 and the Paralympic record to win her second gold medal.
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