Published: Friday September 7, 2012 MYT 7:26:00 AM
Updated: Friday September 7, 2012 MYT 9:22:49 PM
Peacock preens as Pistorius loses 100m crown (Update)
LONDON - Britain's Jonnie Peacock dethroned Paralympics star Oscar Pistorius in the 100m on Thursday, lighting up the Olympic Stadium in the Games' showpiece event as the South African star was edged out of the medals.
Peacock triumphed in the London 2012 T44 men's 100m final, setting a new Paralympic record of 10.90 seconds, bettering the previous best of 11.08, which he had set on Wednesday in qualifying.
Reigning champion Pistorius, the Paralympics' biggest star after last month becoming the first double amputee to compete at the Olympics, was beaten into fourth place in a time of 11.17 seconds.
It was a second stunning defeat of the Games for the 25-year-old after he could only manage silver defending the 200m title he won in Beijing four years ago, overtaken by Brazil's Alan Oliveira.
Finishing behind 19-year-old Peacock, US sprinter Richard Browne won the silver medal with a personal best of 11.03 seconds, and South Africa's Arnu Fourie ran and African record of 11.08 for the bronze.
As they lined up for the final, the world's eight fastest amputee sprinters soaked up the atmosphere inside the packed 80,000-seater stadium.
Lui Zhiming kissed the Chinese flag and pointed to the camera. Oliveira waved his hands by his ears.
Standing next to him, Pistorius - who has apologised for claiming immediately after the 200m final that the Brazilian's "taller" carbon fibre running blades had given him an unfair advantage - was given a big ovation and applauded the crowd and gave a thumbs up to the camera.
Browne jumped about pointing to the USA written across his chest, before Peacock was greeted with a deafening roar. He smiled and clapped above his head.
Fourie gave a little wave, while Blake Leeper of the United States nodded his head and puffed out his cheeks. His compatriot Jerome Singleton held his finger to his lips and smiled a broad grin.
The crowd chanted "Peacock! Peacock!" as the athletes settled into the blocks, causing the starter to get them up again. Singleton was the last to get into position as silence fell in the Olympic Stadium.
Oliviera failed to settle and got up. He was issued with a green card, meaning he remained in the field. The crowd chanted for Peacock again before settling down again.
Only a baby's cry penetrated the hush. Then they were off, and Peacock was soon out in the lead and never looked back, before crossing the line and claiming the gold.
As Peacock celebrated before the enraptured crowd, Pistorius looked on and applauded.
Leeper finished fifth in 11.21, ahead of Singleton (11.25), Oliveira (11.33 - a season's best), and Lui (11.97).
Pistorius, Oliveira and Leeper are T43 double-at-the-knee amputees, while Peacock is a T44 (single below-the-knee) amputee.
The T43 athletes race with the T44s because there are not enough sprinters in each category with the qualifying standards.
The International Paralympic Committee said this week that it is looking to introduce more single category races and field events in athletics for the next Games, in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. - AFP