British teenager Jonnie Peacock was crowned the fastest amputee on earth on a night of glory Great Britain at the Olympic Stadium. Peacock upstaged Oscar Pistorius in the biggest race of the Paralympics to claim the 100 metres crown just minutes after wheelchair racing champion David Weir had continued his relentless pursuit of a golden quadruple by making it three out of three with a brilliant 800m triumph.
Hannah Cockroft started the gold rush by storming to success over 200m on a day which saw the hosts bring in eight medals to take their total to 26, including nine gold. Peacock, a 19-year-old from Cambridge, showed no regard for reputations as he stormed away from the field to win the most eagerly-anticipated race of the Games in 10.90 seconds, a new Paralympic record.
Pistorius, the defending champion in the T44 race, did not even make the podium. Peacock came into the Games as the T44 world record holder but inexperienced on the big stage. He proved he can more than handle the occasion, dealing with a faulty start and even trying to quieten the chants of ‘Peacock, Peacock, Peacock’ which rang around the stadium before the start. He said: “I didn’t know who would get a bigger cheer, Oscar Pistorius or me, because he is such a legend.
“It feels like I’m am on top of this world the way we’ve been performing here. I haven’t been nervous. I was doing my strides in warm-up and I was ready. I felt on form, I knew I had it in me. Only American Richard Browne could get close to the Briton, claiming silver in 11.03secs. Pistorius was never in contention, finishing fourth behind fellow South African and room-mate Arnu Fourie, but was quick to embrace Peacock at the finish.
For Pistorius, who has now lost his 100m and 200m crowns, it was the first time he has failed to win a medal in a Paralympic race. The 25-year-old said: “I think what the people who were out there tonight were able to witness was one of the greatest performances in 100m. This is the beginning of a phenomenal career for Jonnie Peacock.
“To see a performance and to be beaten by an athlete like that makes me extremely happy. He really stepped up to the plate. You heard the chanting in the stadium tonight and for him to have performed the way he did it just shows what a talented athlete he is.”