6 September 2012

Perfect Paralympic Night For GB As Weir Takes Third Gold And Peacock Beats Pistorius

David Weir and his wheel-chair lit up the Olympic Stadium on a balmy night as he took his third 2012 gold medal in the T54 men's 800m final to become Britain's first triple gold medal winner on the track in these Games, just hours after Hannah Cockcroft completed her T34 sprint double. There was more success to come for the home nation and it came in the form of a dramatic T44 men's 100m final in the battle of the blade runners. 

The men's 100m T44 final was always going to be the night's show-piece event with Paralympic GB runner Jonnie Peacock going into the race as the 2/1 favourite and world record holder with a personal best of 10.85 seconds. There were plenty of other big names in the field though, none more known than Oscar Pistorius, who is the face of these Games. The start was crucial and it was the home favourite who flew out of the blocks as Pistorius started sluggishly. It was American Richard Browne who went with the Briton and even though it looked close at one stage, the 19-year-old powered away from the rest of the field to win in a Paralympic record of 10.90 seconds. Browne took silver in 11.03 as Pistorius was run out of the medals, finishing in fourth in 11.17 behind team-mate Arnu Fourie who took bronze in 11.08.

The great South African Pistorius was gracious in defeat: "What we have seen tonight is the beginning of a great 100m sprinter. Not just a great Paralympian, but a great sprinter. I was hoping to finish in the medals but the 100 metres is just not my thing. Also my room-mate Arnu pipped me on the line so well done to him. The 100 has always been a big event and he (Peacock) just blew us away, the first sub 11 second final in a Paralympic Games."

Just minutes before Weir went in search of his third gold medal and the 'Weir-wolf' was put under pressure from the off, although he sat in position 'A' in second place as the racers took to the inside lane. Lixin Zhang of China held the early lead and looked as though he could hold on as the athletes went into the home straight for the second and last time, however the crowd roared Weir on and he stormed through to take victory  in 1.37.63 from Switzerland's Marcel Hug, who was by then in lane three. An amazing track treble, and the world's best wheel-chair racer will go for marathon gold this week-end. 

The 33-year-old Briton was delighted with his latest win: "That was hard work out there. This one is for my children, its for my kids tonight. I had to dig deep. Of course you do (have doubts) and you can't underestimate your opponents and I knew that the Chinese guy has the best top speed out of anyone. I knew I had to get on the wheel, whether it was him or Marcel. I am tired now and I need to recover for the next two days."

No comments:

Post a Comment