Peacock wins Paralympic 100m in GB gold rush

Jonnie Peacock stormed to victory in the men's 100m final on a golden day for Britain, with South Africa's Oscar Pistorius finishing out of the medals.

Peacock wins Paralympic 100m in GB gold rush

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Peacock's gold came on a day of astonishing success for the home nation, which now has 31 golds and 108 medals in total. That success has seen Britain's Paralympians surpass the medal target of 103, with three days of competition still left to come.

For Pistorius, however, there was only more disappointment. The South African courted controversy last week when he complained that his opponent's blades were too long after losing in the 200m final, and he was outshone once again in the 100m as he could only finish fourth behind Peacock, American Richard Browne and South Africa's Arnu Fourie.

Peacock stormed out of the blocks and finished five hundredths of a second outside the world record in a time of 10.90, following the lead of wheelchair racer David Weir who had won his third gold with a victory in the 800m just minutes earlier.

It was the first time in the Paralympics that anyone had run under 11 seconds.

“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,” he said.

“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?"

Peacock received his gold medal as 80,000 in the Olympic Stadium chanted his name, something they never did for Usain Bolt or, for that matter, Mo Farah.

And he's only going to get better and better according to Pistorius, who was certainly more magnanimous in defeat than he was after losing the 200m, admittedly one of his better medal chances.

"What we've seen here is the start of an amazing Paralympics sprinter, he's going to be a household name now," he said.

"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 can't imagine how happy he must be to do this in front of his home crowd.

"Well done, it's a great time for him. He's still young and he's got a great future ahead of him.

"I was hoping to finish in the medals but the 100m is not my thing. I'm looking forward to the 400m, I'm desperate for a medal."

Meanwhile, Weir will now look to conclude his Games with a fourth gold in Sunday's marathon after adding success over two laps to wins over 1500m and 5000m - 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 it 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.”

Hannah Cockroft, meanwhile, powered to a Paralympic sprint double and vowed it was only the start of her sporting dominance.

Wheelchair racer Cockroft is dubbed the Rocketwoman for her turn of speed and others would have needed to be fitted with jetpacks to catch her in the 200m.

Cockroft, who also won 100m gold, was two seconds quicker than her nearest rival in qualifying and dominated the final in similar fashion - flashing across the line in a 31.90 second Paralympic record.

Holland's Amy Siemons and Desiree Vranken completed the podium but Cockroft was effectively out of sight at the bend and powered down the home straight as a capacity Olympic Stadium again raised the roof for their latest British golden girl.

The British team handbook reports Cockroft's motto is 'refuse to lose', a mantra she has certainly lived up to in recent days.

But four races, four wins and two medals is still a dream for the 20-year old, who also did the sprint double at last year's World Championships in Christchurch.

"I was in doubt on that one, even my coach was worried even though it's my best event," said Cockroft, who admitted some regret she didn’t break the 31.23 sec world record she set in Indianapolis earlier this year.

"I knew they were coming to get me but I hit the fastest speed that I've hit for the entire Games.

"I can't complain about a Paralympic record but it would have been nice to get a world record as well but that's just being greedy.

"I wanted the gold medal more though and I can get a world record anytime. I've worked four years for this and I don't know what I'm going to do with my life now."

Cockroft's hero is Canadian Chantal Petitclerc, who won 21 Paralympic medals, including 14 golds, in a career that covered five Games.

She now works with Petitclerc's long-time coach Peter Eriksson and gets advice from legendary athlete, who serves as a mentor to the British team.

"I would love to be the new Chantal, she's my inspiration and idol," she added.

"She got lucky because she competed in four events in every Games she competed at. If I beat her medal tally I'll be going to the 2112 Olympics but we've decided I'm better than her already!

"I don't think there's anything special about me. I doubt myself a lot and I come across as confident and cocky but I'm really not.

"I just train really hard and I've given up my life for these two golds medals. I’ve realised my ambition but I still think there is a lot more to come from me.”

Meanwhile, Ola Abidogun stormed to Paralympic T46 100m bronze and then dismissed his performance as 'average'.

Abidogun's star is certainly on the rise and but he's under no illusions how tough it will be to make the step up with new Paralympic champion Zhao Xu, only 16, clocking 11.05 seconds.

Raciel Gonzalez Isidoria took silver with 19-year old Abidogun, who got off to a sluggish start, chasing down his rivals to edge bronze in 11.23 secs.

"I don't think it was a fantastic performance, compared to my personal best it was pretty average to be honest. My start was poor and that cost me the chance of getting a better coloured medal, which is frustrating," said Abidogun, whose personal best of 11.05 sec would have seen him deadheating for gold.

"It's definitely something to improve on but considering I'm only 19 and this is my first major championship I suppose that I should be happy with a medal.

"Any medal is worth celebrating and I wanted to thank the crowd for everything they've done for our athletes at these Games. It was an electrifying atmosphere and I’m glad I gave them something to cheer about, it’s just I wanted another colour medal.”

Elsewhere, there were also bronze medals for discus thrower Bev Jones and T36 800m runner Peter Blake on the most successful day on the track yet for British athletes.

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