May 20 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 7, 2012
Athletes shine on memorable night
It had been billed as Thriller Thursday in the Olympic Stadium. And it didn’t disappoint.
David Weir completed a remarkable track hat-trick, Hannah Cockroft made it a golden double, and teenager Jonnie Peacock obliterated a world-class field – including South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius – to win the T44 men’s 100m.
Weir had already won gold in the T54 men’s 5,0000m on Sunday, before defending his 1,500m title on Tuesday.
He won his third gold in resounding style, but was made to work hard in the 800m.
Londoner Weir stayed out of trouble for the opening 600m and then made his attack, but China’s Zhang Lixin refused to yield and the two raced side by side for what appeared to be an eternity.
Fittingly, alongside the London 2012 hoardings down the home straight, Weir got his man and crossed the line in one minute 37.63 seconds.
The Chinese athlete finished second, only to be disqualified later.
“That was hard work,” said Weir. “I just had to dig deep. It was a strong field and you can’t underestimate anyone.
“I knew the Chinese guy had the best top speed of anyone, so I knew if he was going to go out quickly I had to match is speed.
“This one was for the kids. I’m tired now and I need to recover.”
Weir still has the marathon to come on Sunday and his latest heroics were quickly followed by that of Peacock.
Sprinting away from the blocks, he destroyed the field, leading from start to finish to shatter the Paralympic record of 11.08 seconds which he had equalled in the heats 24 hours earlier. Peacock crossed the line in 10.90.
Richard Browne of the USA was second, with Arnu Fourie of South Africa third and Pistorius fourth.
“It was absolutely surreal. The crowd was absolutely immense,” said Peacock, who trains at Lee Valley.
“This Games is definitely a legacy and to be part of that is amazing. I was so proud to be British.
“I was really annoyed with my start yesterday in all honesty. This time I knew I could actually push and my drive phase was probably the best it’s been in a race.
“At 60m I thought ‘I’m in the lead, what’s going on’. It’s crazy. But I think I nailed it in that race.
“In all honesty I should have run quicker than that,” he added. “I should be going three-tenths faster. I’ve been running very quickly in training in the last two weeks and I haven’t put it out here.”
Yorkshire’s Cockroft had started the golden ball rolling in what became a stunning night of Paralympic athletics.
The 20-year-old produced another astonishing performance to complete a magnificent sprint double with victory in the T34 women’s 200m to go with her 100m crown.
Cockroft said: “This summer has been breathtaking, this is what all the training has been for.
“I hope we’re doing everyone proud; everyone’s excited and I don’t want this to ever end, it’s been amazing.”
Dan Greaves, in his fourth Games, won silver in the F44 discus with a season’s best of 59.01m, to add to the gold, silver and bronze medals he had won at previous Paralympics.
Ben Rushgrove won bronze in the T36 men’s 200m and Paul Blake added another in the 800m, two days after his silver over one lap.
A third bronze medal of the night came from Ilford’s Ola Abidogun in the T46 men’s 100m
After a slow start, Abidogun came through to finish in 11.23secs and said: “I’d say it was an average performance, my PB is quicker, but considering I’m only 19 and it’s a new experience and I’m happy.
“Any medal is worth celebrating. he crowd around me made me feel comfortable, they spurred me on and helped me pull it back in the end.
“I’m pretty new on the squad and I’m still learning. If I’d got a better start I could have gone quicker but I was a bit nervous. It’s motivated me to get back into training now.”