Pistorius storms to 400m gold
Oscar Pistorius won his first individual gold of London 2012 in the final race
Oscar Pistorius finally won his first individual gold medal of London 2012 in the very last race at the Olympic Stadium.
The South African did not quite manage to live up to Friday's claim that he would sign off in "spectacular" fashion, but he was still a hugely convincing winner in a new Paralympic record 46.68 seconds, more than three seconds ahead of the field.
After a shock 200m loss and an expected 100m one, the 400m was the one title the 25-year-old wanted to keep hold of more than any other. It is his event, the one at which he made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete in the Olympics. And there was never any danger of an upset on Saturday night.
Pistorius came into the race with a personal best more than five seconds quicker than the next fastest in the race, none of whom had broken the 50-second barrier. Pistorius can get close to 45secs at his best. The South African is still the biggest draw in Paralympic sport and got a huge roar when introduced to the capacity crowd.
Alan Fonteles Oliveira, the T44 200m champion whose long blades sparked furious criticism from Pistorius in the immediate aftermath of that race, was in the lane outside him and for the first half of the race looked like he might pose a challenge.
But Pistorius came into the home straight with a clear lead and, as the Brazilian tired badly, American Blake Leeper came into second and compatriot David Prince third. Oliveira was fourth. It marks the end of a long summer for the Blade Runner, who leaves London with two golds, having taken one in the relay, and a silver.
"It was very very special to me," Pistorius told Channel 4. "It was the last event of my season, the last event of the London 2012 Games. Just so special.
"It was my 11th time I was able to come out on the track and I just wanted to end and give the crowd something they would appreciate and take home with them. I was very nervous before. I was quite tired but the crowd just really kept me going."
Channel 4 revealed that more than four million people tuned in to watch Pistorius cruise to gold. The figure - which peaked at 4.2 million during the race at 10pm - rose to 4.4 million when other streams were included.
The figure mirrors the 4.4 million who watched Pistorius' controversial loss to Alan Oliveira last Sunday in the 200m final. But it was eclipsed by the 6.3 million that tuned in to see Jonnie Peacock storm to gold in Thursday's 100m final.
Oscar Pistorius.who has brought disabled and able bodied sport together.Well done and enjoy your medals,you deserve them
Wonderful to see Oscar get a gold. He doesn't cheat and can be gracious in defeat and in my opinion he is right. The Brazilians blades are a ridiculous length and not proportionate to an able bodied persons leg length!
we are so proud of you ... you desrve it ,, you humbleness are striking , sometng that some of us an learn from ,, in spitte of negative critisism you show yoursef again , keep that beautiful sprit,
What a perfect end to the athletics at the 2012 Paralympics. Oscar Pistorius has been an inpiration to thousands worlwide and will continue to be. He deserves his medals and his success as well as the adoration of the crowds who went to watch the Blade Runner. Now he has shown them he is not alone there are many athletic heroes for them to follow in the future. I just hope when the athletes arrive in Lyon next year, for the IPC World Athletic Championships, the crowds return and show them it was not just a one off and that they will continuously have our admiration for the effort they apply to their chosen sports.
Well done Oscar, you deserved your medals and are a shining example to disabled people everywhere, as are all the brilliant competitors! It has been an amazing Paralympics that will be remembered for years. Just a shame Coldplay have to be hogging the closing ceremony, I can think of much better bands who dont get the coverage they need!
i salute you because you have gone one step further and challenged YOURSELF to compete with the best able bodied OLYMPIANS.and have won their UP MOST RESPECT..here again you have inspired your fellow paralympians to challenge themselves that they can compete against able bodied athletes
well done...may you continue to inspire for years to come.
There was more than a blade of class between Pistorius and Oliveira.
Well Emanuel, we can tell that you are not from a commomwealthy (sic) and English-speaking country or else you wouldn't have spelt Brasilian, rather than Brazilian.In any case what has this got to do with Oliveira's approach to the race?
I do think Oscar has a really valid concern about the blades,yes they maybe of equal length and both legal but very different in design therein the difference.
1) The Body height.. ie length of the leg from the knee to ground should be taken into consideration.
2) The Design...ie the cup either attached to the blade or the cup perched on top of the blade thus giving the bladerunner additional length.
3) The T43 & T44 categories... 1st 2nd and 3rd in the 100mtr final were all single leg amputee there must be something in that to reconsider this classification