Team South Africa finished on a high as Oscar Pistorius stormed to victory in the men’s T43/44 400 metres in the last track event of the 2012 London Paralympic Games on Saturday. A Fanie van der Merwe gold in the T37 100 metres and three more silver medals added further shine to the team’s efforts.
Pistorius, though, the first disabled track athlete to compete in the Olympics, was the star of the show on the final evening.
He won by a massive distance, finishing almost three-and-a-half seconds ahead of Blake Keeper, who nonetheless ran an American record of 50.14. It couldn’t touch Pistorius’ Paralympic record of 46.68, however.
Pistorius told reporters after his victory: “For one of the first times, I thought I could actually hear something coming into the home straight.
‘The most amazing feeling’
“Usually I’m so focused and so in my zone, but I could hear the crowd and it was just the most amazing feeling that I could have possibly had.
“This has been the most phenomenally successful Olympic and Paralympic Games, and I think the world is finally seeing that Paralympic sport is truly elite.”
Looking back on his performances during the Games, Pistorius added: “I guess my 200, I was very surprised by losing my first race ever, but I’m very happy I set a world record in the 200 heats. I set a world record in the 4 by 100 and I set a Paralympic world record tonight, and I can’t be upset with that.”
Van der Merwe had qualified fastest for the T37 100 metres final, the first event of the evening track programme, by equalling the world record in the heats with a time of 11.52 seconds. The final proved to be a real humdinger and if it had been any tighter, two men would have walked away with
Category: Africa News