Peacock equals Paralympic record to ease through to final showdown with Pistorius
19:04 GMT, 5 September 2012
British teenager Jonnie Peacock defeated Oscar Pistorius' conqueror to reach the 100 metres final with an emphatic heat victory at the Olympic Stadium.
The 19-year-old, who looked relaxed and confident in his blocks, got off to a flying start and came home in 11.08 seconds, equalling the T44 Paralympic record.
It was a baptism of fire for Peacock, who lined up against American world champion Jerome Singleton and Brazilian Alan Fonteles Oliveira, the 200m gold medallist whose blades so incensed Pistorius
Streets ahead: Britain's Jonnie Peacock powers home to win his 100m T44 heat
Only the top two advanced along with
two fastest losers, but the Cambridgeshire athlete is not the world
record holder with a best of 10.85secs for nothing.
who lost his right leg below the knee to meningitis aged five, easily
finished ahead of Singleton, who was second in 11.46s.
Oliveira was third in 11.56.
Peacock, who received a huge ovation
when introduced to the crowd, said: “It was nuts out there when they
called my name and my mates and family were by the start line and it
relaxed me. I haven't been nervous at all.
'I'll have to go back now and look at the video, the end of the race wasn't as controlled as I'd like it to be.
'I need to keep my core stronger and
my start could have been better, but that race into that kind of wind (a
1.6m/s head wind) could have been worth 10.90 or 10.95, which would
have been my fastest ever first round. I'll come back stronger tomorrow.
'I expected a few of the guys to push me more to be honest, I didn't think I'd win by so much, so I'm happy.'
Pistorius appeared unaffected by the storm he has caused with his comments about Oliveira's blade length by winning his 100m heat in 11.18.
The South African finished 0.16 ahead of American Blake Leeper, who also uses the longer blades.
The 25-year-old claimed before the Games he was not expecting to retain his 100m title, having largely neglected the event to focus on fulfilling his dream of making the 400m at the Olympics, but he looked comfortable on Wednesday night.
The times in the second two heats ensured Alan too made it through as a fastest loser, setting up a mouthwatering final tomorrow night which looks too close to call.
Pistorius, Oliveira and the two Americans will also go up against each other later on Wednesday in the T42-46 4x100m relay.
Pistorius has since admitted his outspoken attack on the length of the blades worn by Oliveira in the immediate aftermath of the 200m final was badly timed.
The South African publicly questioned International Paralympic Committee regulations, claiming longer blades are giving his rivals an unfair advantage.
Oliveira won the gold in 21.45secs and Pistorius said: 'He's never run a 21-second race and I don't think he's a 21-second athlete.
'The guys are just running ridiculous times and they're able to do so.'
Charge: South Africa's Oscar Pistorius also made it through to Thursday's final
Pistorius apologised the following
day for his comments and the IPC said he would not face censure, with
the two parties set to meet to discus the issue.
The fact remained, though, that had
the 25-year-old, who had to settle for silver in 21.52s, matched the
world record 21.30 he ran in the heat in that final he would have won.
The blades worn by the likes of Oliveira and Leeper were within IPC rules, having been measured and approved before the race.
It is understood Pistorius'
objections relate to the complex formula used to calculate the maximal
allowable height for each athlete.
Pistorius cannot switch to longer
blades if he wants to carry on competing in non-disabled competition as
they have to conform to stringent IAAF regulations.
He had to win a lengthy legal battle
with the governing body at the Court of Arbitration of Sport for the
right to compete in the first place.
South Africa have made an official
complaint to the IPC that athletes are switching the size of their
running blades, but the governing body said they have found no evidence
to back their claims.