DODDINGTON sprinter Jonnie Peacock broke the 100 metres world record eight weeks ago with 10.85secs and is predicting an even faster time will come at the London Paralympics.
Peacock will be lining up in C44 sprint and with the likes of Oscar Pistorius, Blake Leeper, Jerome Singleton and Arnu Fourie also in action the event has been labelled as the “Battle of the Blade Runners” and easily the most eagerly anticipated final in the Olympic Stadium.
South African Pistorius has already sampled the London stadium when appearing at the Olympics earlier this month and with four gold medals to his name already is among the top Paralympians.
Peacock was just five when he contracted meningitis and in danger of dying. The disease killed tissues in his right leg, forcing doctors to amputate the limb from below the knee. He went on to have a number of skin grafts and muscle also had to be detached from behind his knee so a prosthetic leg could be fitted.
When his new artificial leg was fitted his first words to his mother Linda was: “Can I run at the school sports day next summer.”
His serious athletic career began just three years ago, when as a growing 15 year-old at a fitting for a new, bigger prosthetic leg, he spotted a poster for a UK Athletics fast track talent scheme and he is one of the fastest Paralympians.
The 19-year-old student clipped 0.06sec off Pistorius’ T44 world record as a guest at the US Paralympic trials on June 30, clocking 10.85sec to lower the great man’s mark by 0.06secs, but believes all the medal contenders could run under 11sec.
Peacock said: “Getting a medal is not going to be a walk in the park in London. It is so competitive. Everyone could run under 11.
“I know Oscar is training hard and he is going to get results. It wouldn’t surprise me if he broke the world record again.
“I’m just going to concentrate on executing well, but I’m pretty sure Oscar’s going to be capable of something special – and I wouldn’t be surprised if Leeper ran a 10.8.
“When I broke the record my first 20, 30m were actually really bad. I didn’t drive hard and I stood up on the second step. There’s plenty more to gain from that. I can definitely go quicker.
“I can’t put a time on it because ultimately I don’t know what I’m capable of yet. I keep surprising myself so as long as I carry on I’ll be happy.
“I’ve probably got one of the best starts in the field and I’ve got a good chance of being in front at 60 — it’s just about holding on to that.”
Peacock will be lining up for the T44 next Wednesday.